Anarch has commissioned Rana Hassanieh, an installation artist based in Beirut, for her first solo exhibition in London focusing on her two-dimensional 'sculptural' works on paper.
Rana Hassanieh's works offer the viewer a series of irresolvable pictorial situations, surface is put against image and image genres are put against one another in a way that sets modes of reading into dispute. Several distinct streams of informational conveyance are collapsed and in conflict: historical document, architectural diagram, step-by-step instructional illustration, and painterly marks that straddle the incidental and the expressionistic.
Strikingly, these isolated blips of image are distinguished by the absence of infrastructure ' photographic details that tell of the historical continuity they've been ripped from, and which act as standalone facts that tell us little or nothing. This is a reality and a lament, a comment on the splintering effect of informational excess ' where the overwhelming volume of data available causes us to shrink away from its vastness and find refuge in a singular moment.
In one piece - they are all untitled- a gutted Beirut building is set next to an upside down image of a skier, the skier himself torn out laying bare the paper base beneath. A visual rhyme creates an analogue between the two ' the grand, long vacant building and the punctured slope each find support in the paper which holds them up as resonant spatial categories, highlighting and positivizing their shared absence.
It would seem a curious approach for an installation artist whose expansive works can only be documented in details to go about diluting the referential value of image fragments, but it is consistent with Hassanieh's preoccupation with materiality and its limitations, and the loss that accompanies such processes.