Khaldoun Hijazin, Shattered Illusions, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 112 x 352 cm

The Cherry On Top, the solo exhibition of Jordanian painter Khaldoun Hijazin, at Tabari Artspace comprises 10 oil on canvas and acrylic on canvas paintings as well as two large-scale objects produced in 2021.

Khaldoun Hijazin, Fashionably Late. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 100 x 94 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Fashionably Late. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 100 x 94 cm

Our societies have been marked by their quest for truth and transparency yet the body of work produced by Khaldoun Hijazin for The Cherry On Top exposes the complex network of control and manipulation that frames our existence. The artist exposes the current post-truth space where political and ideological discourses are largely accepted to be both staged and falsified. Through his explorations, Hijazin shatters and subverts thinly veiled illusions revealing the performative and inherited nature of our actions, our simultaneous awareness and acceptance of the theatre of leadership, and the fragility of grandeur.

Through dark humour and pastiche, Hijazin dissects and dissolves structures of power and dominance in realms from the political to the social. Hijazin understands his art to be an exploration that facilitates the flow of various ideas and concepts rather than a process of direct commentary or documentation. Influences from reading critical theory as well as Marxist and deconstructive discourse are evident in the artist’s practice, particularly in this series.

Khaldoun Hijazin, Middle Feast, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 140 x 210 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Middle Feast, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 140 x 210 cm

From the boardroom to the dining table Hijazin’s characters are lodged in social settings marked by haunting legacies of propaganda, capitalism and colonialism. The artist weaves together a complex constellation of signs and signifiers, lifted from various moments in time and social and cultural contexts. As such, his scenes, existing in the non-linear moment that he established, are difficult to place. Some fragments in his works Middle Feast, Cooky Jar, and The Cherry on Top – from which the exhibition takes its title – appear to have roots in early twentieth century Arab Bedouin communities while others such as Familiar Faces, Shattered Illusions and Mind the Gap spawn from mid-century Western lobbies alluding to colonial and hegemonic legacies.

Khaldoun Hijazin, Cookie Jar, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 15 canvases, 30 x 30 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Cookie Jar, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 15 canvases, 30 x 30 cm

Hijazin is preoccupied with the notion of legacies – events of the past that continue to reoccur and inform the present. His compositions take on complex and multilayered meaning, the imposition of markers such as the broken chandelier in Shattered Illusions, denotes the collapse of the illusion of ‘true’ progress as claimed by the canon of neoliberalism, while the insertion of a black hole in Mind the Gap, materialises current debate surrounding political transparency and the deliberate disappearance of information.

Khaldoun Hijazin, Mind the Gap, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 80 x 138 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Mind the Gap, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 80 x 138 cm

Judith Butler’s notion of performativity and Guy Debord’s notion of the ‘society of the spectacle’ – where appearances supercede substance – are pronounced in the actions of Hijazin’s characters, particularly in their hand gestures.

Khaldoun Hijazin, Sincerest Masquerade, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 60 x 70 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Sincerest Masquerade, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 60 x 70 cm

 

Khaldoun Hijazin, Faithfully Yours, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 88 x 76 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Faithfully Yours, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 88 x 76 cm

 

 

The imposition of colour in order to obscure and transform the faces of his characters – often authoritative figures – also recurs throughout several works including Sincerest Masquerade, Familiar Faces, and Faithfully Yours. Hijazin contends that figures of authority and influence shift their colours like chameleons and ‘put on their face’ before their public performance.

 Khaldoun Hijazin, Familiar Faces. Oil on Canvas, 78 x 108 cm

Khaldoun Hijazin, Familiar Faces. Oil on Canvas, 78 x 108 cm

Throughout history, scale has been used to assert the importance and power of the nobility. In this context, Hijazin’s use of large-scale both references and subverts this tradition. Despite the magnitude of the artist’s 3.5 meter long Shattered Illusions, the frame is cropped so that only the polished shoes of the elite are revealed. This close framing keeps the viewer guessing who and what might have been obscured; alluding to secret, high-level discussions taking place in a male-dominated space.

Khaldoun Hijazin, And the Rest is History, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 125 x 150 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, And the Rest is History, 2021. Acrylic and Oil on Canvas, 125 x 150 cm

The two large-scale objects that complete this body of work – Fall From Grace, and Tower of Desire, – take the throne and the cake as superficial and inflated signifiers of success and celebration. Hijazin, investing these icons with cynicism, has left them tilted and imperfect, ready to topple down onto the gallery floor.

Khaldoun Hijazin, Fall From Grace, 2021. Fiberglass, 140 x 92 x 105 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, Fall From Grace, 2021. Fiberglass, 140 x 92 x 105 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, The Tower of Desire, 2021. Fiberglass, 130 x 80 x 80 cm
Khaldoun Hijazin, The Tower of Desire, 2021. Fiberglass, 130 x 80 x 80 cm

The info is extracted from the press release.

The Cherry On Top is on view until the 31st of October.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS
Stephen Peirce, Abundance, 2018. Oil on canvas, 160 x 220 cm. Copyright: B. Atala. Courtesy of Mark Hachem Gallery

LE MOBILIER NATIONAL, PARIS

SELECTIONS delves into the world of acquisitions, exploring what museums…

Layla Al Attar(Iraq, 1940-1993). Untitled, detail, 1991. Oil on canvas, 66 x 78.5 cm. From the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

WHEN IMAGES SPEAK: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DUBAI COLLECTION

The first physical exhibition of The Dubai Collection features a…

Paul Priest, Director and Head of MENA Studios, Benoy

BENOY IN DUBAI

Architecture, masterplanning, interior and graphic design firm Benoy has opened…

A letter from Georges Henein to Ramses published in Letters from the Past Issue

THE POWER OF THE PEN

Ranging from declarations of love and outpourings of grief to…

Ekin Su Koç, Berlin Summer VI,Courtesy of the artist and Anna Laudel Gallery

16TH EDITION OF CONTEMPORARY ISTANBUL HIGHLIGHTS

The 16th edition of Contemporary Istanbul brought together more than…

Hassan Sharif’s works, courtesy Estate of Hassan Sharif and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde

ABDULRAHEEM ON HASSAN: MY BROTHER, MY FRIEND, MY TEACHER

By Myrna Ayad Hassan was my friend more than my…

october 2021

09marAll Day09octPLASTIC, THE LAST HERO OF THE GREAT STEPPE - THE ART OF SAULE SULEIMENOVA

19junAll Day17octTHE ARCHITECTURE OF CONFINEMENT

24julAll Day01octSHARJAPAN 3–REMAIN CALM: SOLITUDE AND CONNECTIVITY IN JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE