Adad Hannah: Glints and Reflections
Produced and circulated by the Musée d’art de Joliette. Curated by Lynn Bannon and Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre.
Adad Hannah's “living pictures” (also known as “tableaux vivants”) play with the fascinated and attentive eye of the spectator by using dynamic modes of expression such as photography, video, installation and performance to generate the still image. This exhibition brings together key works made in the past decade that focus on his enduring interest in the photographic image in relation to personal and social histories.
Hannah skillfully orchestrates scenes in which participants, whose gestures are fixed without being totally immobile, take part in various activities staged by the artist. Often developing his projects over months or years through intensive research and working with large groups of participants in community workshops, Hannah’s staged images draw on references ranging from celebrated historical paintings and sculptures to scenes of everyday lives.
Time and its complex relationship with photography and video occupies a prominent place in Hannah’s work. He consistently diversifies the means of animating a fixed image, beginning with capturing a pose on video that is held momentarily by wavering bodies. In recent work, the artist has generated the illusion of movement by taking many sequential photographs of a body in action in order to successively articulate all its phases, reminiscent of the chronophotography of Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904).
About the artist:
Adad Hannah (1971–) was born in New York and spent his childhood in Israel and England before settling in Vancouver via Montréal. He now lives in Vancouver. Hannah holds a PhD and a Masters in Fine Art from Concordia University (Montréal), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr College of Art & Design (Vancouver). He also received a mentorship from video artist Ruby Truly (Vancouver).
He is particularly interested in performance, the movement of bodies through space and the complex relationship between photography and video. His work intends to create a dialogue with communities and to address the role of art in society. His innovative projects continue to resonate throughout the art world, and have resulted in numerous commissions from museums and institutions (Canada, South Korea, Czech Republic, Chile, Mexico, United States, Israel, Australia, Romania and Great Britain) who now count his work as part of their collections. His national and international reputation has won him several prestigious grants and prizes, most notably the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts. Adad Hannah is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain (Montréal–Toronto) and Equinox Gallery (Vancouver).
Produce, reproduce and re-produce. These three words synthesize Adad Hannah’s practice, both in terms of the mediums he uses as well as his subject matter. He combines photography and video to create a new mode of expression through his “stills”. These almost-still videos are recorded by placing a video camera on a tripod within a theatrical installation. The models in the work hold a single pose for several minutes, becoming suspended in time – a “still life” that he videos and photographs from multiple angles. Each photograph and video shows a specific angle into the original scene, each shift presents a re-interpretation of the initial subject. This quoting and requoting is an integral part of his artistic process.
Image credit: Adad Hannah, Raft of the Medusa (100 Mile House) 8 (2009), colour photograph, 100.5 x 133.5 cm. Collection of the artist: Courtesy of Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.