SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

Artists' talk series - Fathi Hassan in Conversation with Najlaa El-Ageli

Fathi Hassan - Portrait

Date: 7 October 2021Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 7 October 2021Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Talk

* The event is a conversation, in Arabic with simultaneous translation, between the Artist Fathi Hassan and curator Najlaa El-Ageli about Fathi’s practice over three decades and across various localities in North Africa and Europe.

About the Artist

Fathi Hassan (Akkij Fathi) was born in Cairo in 1957 to Nubian-Egyptian parents. Whether in photographs, paintings, installations, drawings or, often, directly on walls, his texts are deliberately illegible intended to highlight the plight of lost languages and oral history as a result of colonial domination. Essential to his work is the exploration of identity as he constantly challenges, superimposes, writes and links events, past and present, to contemplate possible futures and potentialities. Hassan’s diasporic adventure for almost four decades reflects the displacement and journey between different spaces, times, perspectives and memories.

In 1979, Hassan had received a grant from the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo and moved to Naples, Italy where he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti and graduated with a thesis on the influence of African art in Cubism. He was one of the first African and Arab artists to exhibit in the Venice Biennial in 1988; and, over the past 40 years, participated in numerous solo and group shows in Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, the United Kingdom and the USA.

Fathi Hassan - Passport

Some of Hassan’s work is in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum, London and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC and Farjam Collections among many others. He is the subject of numerous publications and writings by major critics, curators and experts, from Rose Issa, Achille Bonito Oliva, Maurita Poole and Liliane Karnouk to Kathleen Goncharov, Francesca Petracci, Elizabeth Harney and Enrico Crispolti. He also features in the recent book ‘Lumieres Africaines’ published by Langages du Sud (2018).

About the Curator

Najlaa El-Ageli an architect with over twenty years of experience in the profession, founded Noon Arts Projects in 2012. A small private arts foundation, with a mission to bring the best of contemporary Libyan art, from both emerging and established artists, and expose it to the world stage.

Collaborating with various cultural foundations and galleries, she has curated over 16 projects and successfully shed light on the current Libyan cultural and artistic scene. She has collaborated with the London based Shubbak festival 2015, The Nour Festival 2015 curating the solo retrospective exhibition "Birthmark Theory" for the late Libyan/Canadian artist Arwa Abouon, The Benetton Foundation 2016 Italy for the Imago Mundi Libya project, and went on to curate two successful group exhibitions with Casa Arabe in Spain between 2018 and 2020. One of them, 'Pop Art from North Africa', with a collective of 19 artists from North Africa exploring the phenomenon of Pop Art; and, the other one titled 'Retracing A Disappearing Landscape', featuring another collective of 18 artists with a link to Libya, addressing collective memory and personal histories relating to modern day Libya.

Since 2020 Najlaa has been collaborating with Sulger Buel Gallery in London, she curated "Waves", a collective of five emerging North African artists, and most recently curated "Soul Taming" for renowned and established Egyptian/Nubain artist Fathi Hassan.

About the Gallery

The Sulger-Buel Gallery specialises in the contemporary art of Africa and its Diaspora. Founded in 2014 by avid collector, advisor and owner Christian Sulger-Buel, the gallery provides a focus for those wanting to explore one of the fastest developing, ground-breaking and important areas in contemporary practices — Modern & Contemporary African Art. It proudly presents exquisite creativity by artists of colour in a wide variety of mediums including printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.

The diverse team exists internationally and locally; in London are a warm, small group based at the gallery, while beyond the UK there are a team of specialists who showcase artist efforts within dynamic exhibition programmes, produce innovative publications and offer consultancy services. Visitors, curators and collectors alike can experience cutting-edge shows a stone's throw away from the Tate Modern, as well as at international art fairs across the globe.

Gallery Website

Chair: Dr Wayne Dooling (Chair, Centre of African Studies)

Registration

This event is open to the public, however registration is required. Online Registration

Contact email: cas@soas.ac.uk