The Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar will hold a 51-day exhibition featuring work of London-based Moroccan artist-photographer Hassan Hajjaj starting 6pm Wednesday.
The exhibition titled ‘My Rock Stars: Volume 1? pays homage to traditional African portraiture, while celebrating present-day pop stars, unsung artists and personal inspirations in Hajjaj’s life, VCUQatar said.
Created using a pop up studio erected on the streets of Morocco, London, Paris and Kuwait, the series is simultaneously an haute-couture street experiment and a revival of African photography from the 1960s and 70s.
Hajjaj’s subjects range from musicians, fashion designers, dancers to singers, capoeira masters, and boxers – all of whom are immortalized in a fleeting moment in time, sealing their muse-like qualities forever.
Much like Hajjaj’s personal exploration, the photographic series, is an on-going examination of belonging in an increasingly globalized society where boundaries of cultural identity – most notably African, Arabic and Western – are constantly being pushed.
Using traditional mats and fabrics as well as found objects that he sources from local markets in his hometown Marrakech, Hajjaj bridges the gap between past and present and various cultures, creating pieces that seamlessly merge folkloric elements into Western contemporary art.
This exhibition also features a film on the Rockstar Series which has been provided courtesy of Rose Issa Projects, London.
VCUQatar Exhibition and Speaker Curator Caitlin Doherty said, “Hassan Hajjaj has brought the most dynamic life, energy and excitement to VCUQatar. His work has the ability to affect you, and I have yet to see someone leave the gallery without smiling.”
Hajjaj’s work has been exhibited internationally in many high profile exhibitions including London, Paris and Morocco, notably Fashion in Motion, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Africa Remix, Hayward Gallery, London and Contemporary African Visual Arts, British Museum, London all in 2005.
‘My Rock Stars: Volume 1? runs at the Gallery at VCUQatar from September 4 to October 24, with an opening reception tomorrow 6pm. The event is open to the public, VCUQatar said.