For his first major presentation in the UK, Hassan Khan will be undertaking an ambitious new project incorporating a residency, an exhibition and a series of off-site events. Khan’s practice includes video installations, interventions in printed media, lecture performances, text works and also music performances. The work possesses a distinct conceptual base, often implicating viewers within the scope of his ideas through the various forms it may take. Often Khan will combine this approach with investigations into issues surrounding personal experience in the urban metropolis, particularly in relation to its structures of history, power, class, culture and myth that subconsciously, but often visibly, affect inhabitants. Using a compellingly striking and visceral visual language, Khan utilises audio-visual means to produce highly experiential settings to assimilate the work, often allowing visitors a space to open personal associations of the subject matters in question.
Khan’s residency enabled him to take part in a series of events at Gasworks and other venues in London. These events incorporated some of the more performance-based elements of Khan’s practice: a lecture performance, a reading from “17 and in AUC” the transcriptions of Khan’s 56 hour long performative action of the same name, a film-screening hosted by the artist, a live music and video performance, and a specially produced live radio broadcast.
For his exhibition at Gasworks, Khan intuitively translated collections of dreams through different forms both visual and aural, attempting to engage with their logic. These elements connected with and disconnected from each other by their very nature and through personal encounter. Incorporating video work, photographic elements, sound, music, and a collection of unique publications, the exhibition space was architecturally reconfigured as a unified setting. The exhibition also included Khan’s acclaimed recent 4-channel video installation The Hidden Location.
Hassan Khan lives and works in Cairo. His recent exhibitions include: Turin Triennial, 2005; Family, You, Me and the Trajectories of a Post-Everything Era, ACAF/ Alexandria Contemporary Art Forum- Alexandria, Egypt, 2005; Hassan Khan (solo), 2004, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; and Istanbul Biennial, 2003. Khan is also participating in the Sydney Biennial, 2006.
Series of events
Thurs 25th May 6.30-9pm
KOMPRESSOR private view
For his exhibition at Gasworks, Hassan Khan's KOMPRESSOR project will present a newly commissioned installation, which marks a more experimental approach by the artist to exhibition-making.
Thurs 1st June, 7-9pm
UK book launch: 17 and in AUC - the transcriptions.
Over the course of fourteen days for four hours every night, Hassan Khan isolated himself in a sound-proofed glass room, smoking, drinking beer, and recollecting aloud his experiences as a student at the American University in Cairo. The transcriptions of the 56-hour long performance, 17 and in AUC, form the publication of the same name. Khan will read excerpts from the stream of consciousness style texts to launch the publication in the UK.
...All 56 hours of this performative action were documented on a digital video camera. The result is a mixture of deeply personal recollections and various theoretical attempts at deciphering and analyzing the period as well as the situation itself, a specific relation to an audience - a technology of communication. This is a personal investigation of the construction of memory and persona in relation to a specific institution and the context it is in. The following text is a transcription of every legible word uttered during these hours, ...the decision to keep the unpunctuated flow of the spoken word was dictated by the interest of maintaining the rhythms and enigmas of a consciousness on the brink. Hassan Khan
Weds 14th June, 7.30pm
A lecture that tries to speak of images but ends up being concerned with something else
Camden Arts Centre
In this live event the artist will use sound, text and projected images to create a unique lecture which attempts to discuss ideas surrounding the image and representation. In the words of the artist, this illustrated lecture is an associative investigation into the depth of the image and its surface, the impossibility of defining moments, the crisis of locating cultures, representation as an act of possession, inherent structural slippages and the music we speak. The artist will be present for a discussion and to answer questions following the lecture.
A lecture that tries… has previously been performed at Photo Cairo Festival, Studio Emad El Din, Cairo.
Sun 25th June, 4pm
Selected single channel videos by Hassan Khan
Ritzy Cinema, Brixton
Khan presents his multi award-winning documentary Transitions (2002) and seven short films made between 1997 and 2002. Transitions interweaves encounters with young people living and working in Cairo. Talking about their everyday lives, the conversations and monologues reveal personal viewpoints and ideas across various themes and issues. In this short documentary, the discussions are left to play off each other and more questions are raised than answered.
Transitions - 2002 (22 min)
Best Arab Documentary - Egyptian Documentary Filmmakers Association (2002)
Best Short Documentary -Jury prize - Ismailia Short and Documentary Film Festival (2002)
Official Entry: International Competition - Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2002)
tabla dubb no. 9 - 2002 (3.36 min)
the eye struck me and the lord of the throne save me - 1997 (4 min)
this is THE political film - 1998 (1 min)
fuck this film - 1998 (4 min)
six questions to the Lebanese - 2001 (1 min)
sometime/somewhere else - 2001 (1.30 min)
100 portraits - 2001 (1.5 min)
Khan will be present for questions after the screenings.
Sun 2nd July, 3pm
Closing event: Hassan Khan in conversation with Francesco Manacorda
On the final day of his exhibition at Gasworks, Hassan Khan discusses the exhibition in the context of his practice with independent curator and critic, Francesco Manacorda. Khan’s practice often investigates issues surrounding the urban metropolis in relation to its structures of history, power, class, culture and myth and includes video installations, interventions in printed media, text works and performance. This informal discussion will look at Khan’s speculative approach to KOMPRESSOR and the exhibition’s relationship to his broader practice. Manacorda is co-curator of the forthcoming exhibition Subcontinent at The Sandretto Foundation, Turin, and has contributed to numerous magazines including Flash Art, Contemporary and Metropolis M.
Thurs 20th July, 9pm
Whitechapel 'thursday late'
Khan's practice includes music and audio works which involve live performances as well as writing theatre soundtracks. Live and improvised performance is an important element in much of the aural works. Tabla dubb uses a foundational element in Egyptian musical culture (the tabla) to create an audiovisual performance. Khan mixes broken beats, hardcore electronica, and the tabla to projections of a live video edit of material shot by the artist. This unique live work refuses to be limited by the orientalising discourse of 'the traditional and the contemporary' and positions itself within the context of contemporary performance.
Tuesday 18 July, 7pm
Figure and Ground
Resonance 104.4 FM 'Clear Spot'
This special broadcast is a live production by Hassan Khan using laptop effects, mixing and looping to create swathes of sonic exploration. He will use Friday sermons recorded in Cairo together with his own voice delivering a text responding to his time spent in London.
This programme will be repeated on Tuesday 25th July 11am - 12pm