Syrian artist and architect Mohamad Hafez will present a lecture on the opening night of the exhibition Mohamad Hafez: Collateral Damage on October 25 at 5 p.m. in the Quick Center for the Arts’ Kelley Theatre. The exhibition will be on view in the Walsh Gallery through December 15, 2018.
Hafez was born in Damascus, raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and educated in the Midwestern United States. Expressing the internal juxtaposition of East and West, Hafez’ art reflects the political turmoil in the Middle East through the compilation of found objects, paint, and scrap metal. Drawing on his architectural training, Hafez creates surrealistic Middle Eastern streetscapes that are architectural in their appearance yet politically charged in content. This exhibition will feature a selection of Hafez’ work across multiple projects, including several pieces from his most recent series, Unpacked: Refugee Baggage. For this project, Hafez worked with Iraqi-born writer and speaker Ahmed Bahr to re-create rooms, homes, buildings, and landscapes that have suffered the ravages of war, embedding within them the voices and stories of real people – from Afghanistan, Congo, Syria, Iraq, and Sudan – who have escaped those same rooms and buildings to build a new life in America.
Image (detail): Mohamad Hafez, Hiraeth, 2017. Plaster, paint, rusted metal, found objects, rigid foam. 60 x 32 x 17 inches. © Mohamad Hafez.
hiraeth (n.): a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past