LAMIA ABUKHADRA – The hammer seizes its actuality // JOHN FLEISCHER – FIXING // 10.14.23 – 11.12.23
Concurrent solo shows Lamia Abukhadra and John Fleischer. Both artists have shown with the gallery several times before and are now each given a whole floor of the building for their installations.
Not the Sunrise (2022) Installation including three spotlights, light filters, rear- projection screen, digital prints, gouache, acetate.
158”x 79”x 79”
Photo credit: Romy Finke
Lamia Abukhadra is a Palestinian American artist born in Minneapolis and currently based in Beirut. Comprised of a light installation and an ongoing series of drawings and prints, works presented in Abukhadra’s The hammer seizes its actuality explore the power relations present in the construction, circulation, and perception of photographs and videos taken in contemporary Palestine.
In FIXING, John Fleischer presents sculptures and drawings on canvas. In reflecting on the new work, Fleischer considers “languages that emerge from organs other than the mind. Think heart, for example. Think kidney, liver, or spleen.”
This will be the fourth HAIR+NAILS show for each artist. John Fleischer’s work was in groups shows “Winter Into Spring” (2022), “FUTURE FUTURE” (2020), and “HAIR+NAILS at 9 Herkimer” (Brooklyn, 2019). Lamia Abukhadra’s work was in her solo show “The Shape of Thin Air” (2021) and group shows “FUTURE FUTURE” (2020) and at NADA Invitational (Chicago, 2019).
IN THE ARTISTS’ WORDS:
About Lamia Abukhadra’s The hammer seizes its actuality: Research for these projects began in 2021 during the highly mediatized uprisings and subsequent ongoing violent crackdowns, bombings, and collective punishments in Occupied Palestine, the West Bank, and Gaza. Comprised of a light installation and an ongoing series of drawings and prints, works presented in The hammer seizes its actuality explore the power relations present in the construction, circulation, and perception of photographs and videos taken in contemporary Palestine. These images, meant to document and inform viewers of the daily occurrences of extreme violence, are contextualized in digital spaces which promote the rapid consumption of media and create a dispersive montage for Palestinian images to exist within. Formal elements that create these images, such as color, framing, distortion of bodies and objects, gestures and lines of movement, digital intervention, light, and shadow, serve as points from which to compose and trigger new modes of sight, making visible the forces that create the images while breaking or slowing the cycle of never-ending circulation and consumption. The title of the exhibition, a line from Nuar Alsadir’s poetry book, Fourth Person Singular, refers to the Heideggerian concept of a hammer revealing its true form only when it has been broken.
About John Fleischer’s FIXING:
There are languages that emerge from organs other than the mind. Think heart, for example. Think kidney, liver, or spleen.
In 2018 researchers from NYU found what appeared to be a previously unidentified organ in the human body. Provisionally dubbed the interstitium, the organ is described as a network of fluid- filled compartments that lies just beneath the surface of the skin.
Although the interstitium was there in plain sight all along, it was overlooked due to the limited view supported by established research methods. The common practice of fixing – fragmenting the body’s tissues into thin slices for microscopic viewing – destroyed the interstitium and prevented researchers from glimpsing the larger whole.
Fix as in fasten. Fix as in secure. I need a fix. The outcome was fixed. That’s quite a fix you’ve gotten yourself into. Don’t worry, we can fix it.
Some researchers believe the cells that line the interstitium respond to wounds inflicted on the body and contribute to healing. Others suggest that these cells might contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders, which occur when the body’s natural defense systems no longer distinguish between healthy tissue and potentially harmful antigens. Instead of repairing the body, the drive to fix that which has been identified as broken or foreign becomes pathological. The form attacks itself.
Lamia Abukhadra is a Palestinian American artist born in Minneapolis and currently based in Beirut. Her practice studies how disasters can resurrect and generate new forms of perception, collectivity, and resistance, using the Palestinian and Lebanese contexts as microcosms of urgency. Within her drawings, prints, sculptures, texts, and installations, she embeds speculative frameworks which bring to light intimate and historical connections, poetic occurrences, and generative possibilities of survival, mutation, and self-determination. Lamia graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in interdisciplinary studio art in 2018. She is a 2019-2020 Home Workspace Program Fellow at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut as well as a 2021–2022 Jan van Eyck Academie Resident in Maastricht. Her work has been exhibited in Minneapolis, Chicago, Beirut, and Berlin. Lamia is a 2018–2019 Jerome Emerging Printmaking Resident at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, a 2019 resident at ACRE, and a recipient of a 2017 Soap Factory Rethinking Public Spaces grant. Abukhadra also works in the cultural field, and currently holds the position of Art and Communications Director at Mizna (St. Paul, MN).
John Fleischer is a Minnesota-based artist who works on a spectrum ranging from images and objects to sound, actions, and environments. John has presented projects at venues such as the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI), Kunstverein Graftschaft Bentheim (Neuenhaus, Germany), the Rochester Art Center (Rochester, MN), and Hair+Nails (Minneapolis, MN).