Pascal Hachem at Selma Feriani Gallery

Context is a key element as any reflection of Pascal Hachem; anchored in his specific environment. Drawing from the Lebanese political and social fragility and the economic disintegration that the country is enduring and exposing the chaos post-explosion and pandemic in a Tunisian framework where transitions never cease to surprise since the revolution. This environment positions the artist in various situations to question several issues and dynamics in the art scene, ranging from museums, the collection and the artwork itself.

Collecting artworks and designing a collection; such is embedded in an evolving process that is built as a whole. It carries shapes and forms giving meaning to the collector’s perspective and outline on the world. The artworks meet their state, by either triggering thoughts or mirroring their mindset. As Hans Ulrich Obrist states " in collecting, you’re making an artwork too which is composed of different specific pieces. How you’ll design your artwork is entirely up to you and not what other people think.” The exhibition “5 Collectors, 5 Rooms” was triggered from this anchor point, questioning the practice of collecting, the position of the artwork and by exploring these limits in reversing the roles. What if collecting meant shaping? What would be a work reflected with the participation of its collector?

Pascal Hachem’s body of work addresses five collectors from different contexts and countries through virtual exchanges, where the conversation leads the way. He sets milestones according to the context of his interlocutor and his own, giving free reign to exchanges to lead, break, criticize and question the becoming and being of the work.  
To transform the ideas into a matter of reflection, such is the journey carried out jointly with the collectors through the discussions.

In an arrangement of five separate rooms within the Selma Feriani Gallery, Pascal sets up five distinct experiences reflecting the fruit of the discussions conducted. By finding common ground within the conversations, Hachem uses the different backgrounds of the collectors as a medium to build performative acts staging the reflections in dynamic objects dealing with the material and immaterial aspects.  From the several encounters, the displayed works come as a result of a keen journey of ex- change, to shape means laying down means of representation, reflection or even dichotomy. Among the topics addressed, borders happen to appear as a definition of the familiar and unfamiliar spaces, in the process of transformation by exceeding and changing definitions. One of the works equally stages the thin yet empowered line between women and words that rule with soft power, soft as lace on aggressive tools.

The set-up juggles between analogies positioning political situations and social figures. The former is visible through the most subtle and hid- den aspects using food and its impact to impose a dictatorship. The study of Etel Adnan's "The Weight of the World", suggests a contemporary perspective of the Lebanese context confronting two temporalities and points of view on the situation. The exhibition offers five windows in which the viewer can position themself in front of various situations, bearing in mind the collection as a background skeleton and the topics addressed in a socio-political dialogue of the respective contexts.

Drawing from banal, everyday life objects, Hachem adopts the tone set by the conversation and translates it into live sculptural installations. He studies the material per the sensory emotions that it carries, ranging from local cigarette packets to heavy anvils to the delicacy of blown glass.  Each work mirrors the open process and echos the different mindsets of new acquaintances giving space to an open window for furthering questions out of the physical experience.  International Exhibition ‘5 Collectors, 5 Rooms’ by artist Pascal Hachem will take place at the Selma Feriani Gallery from the 8th of October to the 30th of November, 2021.

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12th October, 2021 Visual Art | Paintings