Cairo Dreams 2011. Hefuna's work reflects personal experiences in-between cultures, dealing with cross-cultural codes; she constantly plays at what images mean and how they work, creating a dream-like space where viewers can attach a wide array of significances to indicators of time and location.
"Though abstract and formal, the drawings and sculptures contain the body. They are produced in one spontaneous uninterrupted movement of the hand, transforming this puzzling state of mind we call dreaming (a state where we are both known and unknown to us) into tangible objects.
Ink and pencil on multiple layers of tracing paper, the drawings present abstract patterns and figurations. They evoke embroidery and tapestry, but also molecular structures, maps, cityscapes, the intricate ornaments of the mashrabiya. The structures we invent to assure ourselves that we have nothing to fear. And fear there is. What could be more prone to destruction than pencil, ink and tracing paper? With each layer covering for the other(s) the drawings are examples of kindred self-defense.
No disguise is ever flat, and the drawings are no exception. The superimposed layers of translucent paper create an indefinable space: firm yet shifting, wounded yet protected, strange yet intimate. I know this space. It is my home, the place where I draw strength from weaving my veils, and speaking from behind a screen not to withdraw into isolation, not to reject relationships but to face others in spite of my vulnerability."
Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue essay written by Bettina Mathes, 2011.
Susan Hefuna's work reflects personal experiences in-between cultures, dealing with cross-cultural codes; she constantly plays at what images mean and how they work, creating a dream-like space where viewers can attach a wide array of significances to indicators of time and location. Hefuna has exhibited widely at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Kunstmuseum, Thun, Switzerland; Galerie Grita Insam, Vienna, Austria; Fare Mondi, 53rd Venice Biennial, Italy; Seville Biennial, Spain; New Museum, New York, USA; 2nd Riwaq Biennale, Palestine; 9th Sharjah Biennial, UAE; The Louvre, Paris, France; National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Susan Hefuna, Drawing 2, 2011, Ink on Mold made paper, 31.5 x 31.5 cm
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