ARIEL HASSAN
TRANSLATION

2019

EXHIBITION TEXTS

TRANSLATION | Artist Statement, 2019

The uselessness of art redeems us humans, it is a space opposite, a counter-production that we need to keep interpreting and building, ideally in the most neutral way possible. Art is not about us, it is about all. Beyond any speculation I believe that the reason our world needs art is because we perceive a notion of complete equality and equanimity that exists only in the fundamental absolute power of art. We need art because it affects us, the experience damages us while simultaneously helping us regain trust in a condition that seems to avoid us. Our temporality, stubbornness, personal views, the excesses of added values; art doesn’t care for these, it attacks and erodes them, becoming relevant to us. Because the encounter with art humbles us, we must care for it. 

Working on art projects stands not as an escape nor a crusade, but perhaps as a poetic lament and an attempt at translating into tangible that unfathomable space. From our fragmented reality, surviving all accidents of being, I keep striving to bring versions of this poetry into the world, translations that remain always imperfect and incomplete, but are done with as much fidelity as possible. This exhibition is one version of this, including works produced with broken, discarded and found materials; surviving traumatic transformations these are presented again heroic, as poetic figures in their regenerated structures, symbolic of the fluid nature of attested conceptions, or what is original.

AH

BEGINNING OF HEAVEN AND EARTH  |  TEXT

The beginning of heaven and earth was separated by an invisible landscape on the horizon, strong, sharp and dangerous to cross, yet irresistible for those who dared. The border keeping the outsiders out or the insiders safe, the insiders trapped or the outsiders ignored. This was in my head as a child.

I remember a scene repeated on most common walls between neighboring houses back in Argentina in the 80s: over solid high brick walls, pieces of broken bottles and glass shards were cemented at the top. These would form a sort of mountainous horizon against the blue sky, a gruesome-poetic framing to the dwellings’ courtyards - the ‘decorative’ feature for the shared partitions. This topography of bourgeois fear would eco the high mountain ranges of the region where I grew up.

The expansion of the mountains, embracing salinas and deserts within the valleys that I would experience as an all consuming territory, was somehow condensed in these sharp and menacing shared walls. Contrary to the mountains’ expansion which confused frontiers, the walls aggressively protected and limited the private property of the families.

Whatever the social reality backing the erection of these violent separations, was not the focus of my attention and I would instead see them as metaphysical landscapes formed by translucent mountain ranges. They were attractive and seductive frontiers for explorers, more than inhibitors for the plausible animosity of intruders. The topology of these walls and of the walls in the minds of the neighbours, did not always manage to restrain trespassers.

The world today is still full of transparent or rigid borders, things to protect, reasons why to hinder free movement between peoples or ideas. Beyond the unreachable imaginal frontiers from childhood, I wonder if any real imposing borders from then or current ones (which provoke more than contain) don’t actually expose the intolerance and fear for the other, as opposed to effectively addressing the concerns for the integrity of what in the first place was intended to be kept safe.

The imaginary landscape has been re-enacted in stone and glass low enough for anyone to cross, just be careful not to get cut, but if it happens try to enjoy the accident.

AH