gb agency, Paris
October 15 - November 19, 2022
Majd Abdel Hamid’s exhibition seeks to construct a personal, intimate and collective memory of a particular day. 800 meters and a corridor projects different fictions to evoke this moment.
The first one is built from a postulate after the deadly explosion of August 4, 2020 in Beirut: If we add it all up, how long was the thread that was used to stitch people up? The exhibition unrolls the meters of thread needed for the artist and the population to stitch up, to repair bodies and minds, to regain sanity after the unthinkable. Whether it is the thread of Greek mythology, the Moirai weaving life, or surgical threads that heal wounds, the artist, in constant movement, confronts time in its duration, over hundreds of meters of stitching. Artistic categories no longer exist; only experimentation and transformation count.
The exhibition presents the workbooks but also the first attempts and sketches of the works. A video shows the matrix of an embroidered form whose soluble material liquefies. It is no longer the healing threads that disintegrate but the skin that dissolves. The threads resist. What is left when there is nothing left? Perhaps there is still a work in progress and above all, there is still life. Majd Abdel Hamid reveals to us all the beauty of what remains when there is nothing left.
The second narrative is built from the request he made to friends to draw on the plan of their home the part they consider the safest. Majd Abdel Hamid then isolates, on a piece of fabric, the space that is safe from danger, according to each person’s drawings. Corridor refers to the space within his apartment in which, from now on and following the August 4 explosion, the artist would feel protected. Corridor brings together works that question this notion of security, all relative. For many, home is synonymous with a peaceful place and for others with danger. Images of war show us that aggression would always come from outside and yet violence –familial, marital– is at the heart of domestic intimacy.
Corridor undoes certainties and proposes new spaces in which to repair.
The two bodies of work on view are punctuated by a series of white embroideries entitled Son this is a waste of time. This series, begun in 2015, has appeared recurrently in the artist’s work since. The new pieces testify to a certain fragility and instability that is once again taking hold in Beirut. 800 meters and a corridor is also a tribute to the artist’s adoptive city, constantly and once again bruised by violence.
Majd Abdel Hamid gathers personal and political stories that he embroiders on pieces of fabric. By recomposing different realities with his needle, he reframes and distances. On a few inches of cotton, crumpled in his pocket or framed, Majd Abdel Hamid redefines the world freely.