Copper wire 75 × 315 × 70 cmErasmushaus
As the pioneer of contemporary art in the Gulf region, Hassan Sharif introduced the apotheosis of recycled materials and mass-produced objects as sculpture. For the Parcours sector, Sharif’s Copper No. 32 (2015) is presented at Erasmushaus, an antiquarian bookshop in central Basel. Manifested as an emblematic expression of the artist’s interrogation of materiality, absurdist experimentation, and his affinity towards language and the written word, such an apt venue serves to extend this myriad dialogue not only in a visual sense but more poignantly in a literal one too. Through the work’s process of interweaving copper wire, he creates a threedimensional anomaly to the effect that the original shapes, lost as new forms, emerge in the intersection of lines and voided space. The viewer is thus invited to interpret and conjure their own images in this collision of lexicon, material, and form – an organism, a cocoon, a body. Copper is a material associated with the rapid industrialization and modernization of his country. The extensive presence of hyper-consumerism, skyscrapers, and factories reveal the might of this material within a developing nation. In the hands of Sharif, copper is warped and re-purposed, cut and bent, imitating the fragility of what is deemed strong and stubborn yet charged and manipulated – much like the rapid emergence of his homeland’s rise into modernity.
Courtesy of the Estate of Hassan Sharif