Hasan & Husain Essop / Refuge / 2017

Hasan & Husain Essop / Refuge / 2017
15 July - 19 August 2017
Installation View
Hasan and Husain Essop
Refugees, 2016
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Hulk Habib, 2017
Lightjet C-print on archival paper
160 x 110 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
State Fury, 2017
Lightjet C-print on archival paper
160 x 110 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Are we there yet?, 2017
Canvas tent and oars
130 x 200 x 60 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Beached, 2016
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
No Muslims, 2017
Lasercut perspex
40 x 70 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Drone strike, 2017
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Saudiman, 2017
Lightjet C-print on archival paper
160 x 110 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Stowaways, 2017
Pigment inks on cotton paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Cyber Recruit, 2017
Pigment inks on cotton paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Entry Denied, 2017
Acrylic paint on charcoal and wood
117 x 85 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Black flag, 2017
Screenprint on cotton
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Muslims Only, 2017
Lasercut perspex
40 cm x 70 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Aleppo, 2017
Acrylic paint and charcoal on wood
152 x 220 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Refuge, 2017
Single-channel HD video

Hasan and Husain Essop
Seeking forgiveness, 2017
Pigment inks on cotton paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Mass Grave, 2017
Lightjet C-print on archival paper
90 x 249 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Black terror, 2016
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Usual Suspects, 2016
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
100 x 150 cm / 90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Border wall, 2016
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Beheading, 2016
Pigment inks on cotton rag paper
100 x 150 cm / 90 x 130 cm
Hasan and Husain Essop
Dark Imaam, 2017
Lightjet C-print on archival paper
160 x 110 cm

Hasan & Husain Essop / Refuge / 2017 - Installation View

15 July - 19 August 2017

Hasan and Husain Essop

Refugees

Hasan and Husain Essop

Hulk Habib

Hasan and Husain Essop

State Fury

Hasan and Husain Essop

Are we there yet?

Hasan and Husain Essop

Beached

Hasan and Husain Essop

No Muslims

Hasan and Husain Essop

Drone strike

Hasan and Husain Essop

Saudiman

Hasan and Husain Essop

Stowaways

Hasan and Husain Essop

Cyber Recruit

Hasan and Husain Essop

Entry Denied

Hasan and Husain Essop

Black flag

Hasan and Husain Essop

Muslims Only

Hasan and Husain Essop

Aleppo

Hasan and Husain Essop

Refuge

Hasan and Husain Essop

Seeking forgiveness

Hasan and Husain Essop

Mass Grave

Hasan and Husain Essop

Black terror

Hasan and Husain Essop

Usual Suspects

Hasan and Husain Essop

Border wall

Hasan and Husain Essop

Beheading

Hasan and Husain Essop

Dark Imaam

Goodman Gallery Johannesburg
15 July – 19 August 2017

In Refuge, twin South African artists Hasan and Husain Essop address the cultural conflicts surrounding questions of national belonging that have spawned from the Syrian refugee crisis.

From the perspective of young Muslims living in the Islamic diaspora, the Essops have produced new works that investigate mainstream media representations of the refugee crisis according to the perception that there is increasing misunderstanding and fear of Islam in the secular world.

The exhibition poses the question: ‘what constitutes refuge?’, presenting new works – photographs, sculptural installations and video – which consider the traumas of millions of individuals who have been made into collateral damage as a result of this devastating conflict.

The works also explore the circumstances leading to the ongoing civil war in Syria and juxtapose the destructive propaganda and recruitment tactics of extremist groups like ISIS with the peace and spiritual fulfillment that many find in Islam.

In a series of photographs, the Essops work in their characteristic mode, performing within the frame of the camera to imagine the experiences of people displaced by forces much larger than them. The work also makes a connection with South Africa’s history of forced displacement and the legacies of slavery and colonialism that first brought Islam to the Cape.

This self-reflexive impulse is playfully re-employed in a series of proposed ‘Muslim superheroes’ in which the Essops amalgamate American comic book and action figures with heroes and villains of Islam to question Western assumptions about cultural difference.

Sculptural installations lend a visceral immediacy to events in Syria that are mostly experienced in the abstract via mass media. As a deliberate counterpoint to the propaganda videos of extremist groups, the video filmed in The Holy Kaaba in Mecca gives a glimpse into a moment of deep significance for Muslims all over the world.

Hasan and Husain Essop (b. 1985) live and work in Cape Town. Their work is concerned with the role of the individual in society, particularly through the lens of young Muslims living in a secular environment. They were the recipients of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art in 2014, and the resulting exhibition Unrest has been seen in cities across South Africa as well as in Dubai and Sydney. They have participated in group exhibitions all over the world, including the Havana and Dakar Biennials and the important exhibition Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography at London’s V&A Museum. Their work forms part of several public collections, including The Walther Collection, The Iziko South African National Gallery and the Deutsche and Standard Bank collections.

Refuge is the Essops’ third solo exhibition at Goodman Gallery.

Hasan and Husain Essop

Hasan and Husain Essop (b. 1985, Cape Town) have been collaborating since their graduation from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town in 2008. In 2010 they travelled to Cuba to produce a body of work as part of the tenth Havana Biennial, under the theme ‘Integration and resistance in the global age’. In 2011 they completed a 3-month residency at the prestigious Thami Mnyele Foundation in Amsterdam.

They have participated in several major group exhibitions – including Figures and Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography at the V&A Museum in London in 2011, and South: Contemporary Art from Australia, Mexico & South Africa at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery in Sydney in 2014 – and they have held solo exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Dubai.

In 2014 they received the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Visual Art, and presented a new body of work at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival titled Unrest. The exhibition addresses the notion of global unrest through the particular lens of young Muslims living in Cape Town, and features the brothers’ characteristic large-scale photographic prints, as well as sculptural installations and multimedia works. The exhibition has since been shown in five cities across South Africa, and at the Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde in Dubai.