Fathi Hassan
b. Sudan/Egypt, 1957

Selected Exhibitions | Selected Readings | Weblinks | Artist page | Introduction to Exhibit

Fathi Hassan's works focus on the interaction between written and spoken language and play with the viewer's ability to "read" and attribute meaning to graphic and scripted passages. Hassan creates artworks in an impressive array of media„from video and photography to performance, painting and installation. He invents visually alluring and dynamic "texts" that draw from the kufic forms of Arabic calligraphy. These remain deliberately illegible to the viewer, thereby calling attention not only to the potential ambiguity of written language but also to the aesthetic powers of graphics in all forms.

Hassan's Nubian family relocated to Cairo when their homeland was destroyed by the building of the Aswan Dam in 1902. Hassan often draws upon the turmoil of this personal and shared history in his work. His language-based pieces celebrate the importance of oral traditions that are threatened by the arrogant dominance of those who rely only on the written word as a measure of truth and reality. .

Selected Exhibitions
1985 A new generation in Italian Art, Fortessa Medecia, Siena
1988 The Nomad's Memory, Egyptian Academy, Rome
Aperto 88 23rd Venice Biennale
1989 The Village, at La Parte du Sable Galerie, Cairo
1990 If I gave you my soul ten times it would not be enough, Multimedia Gallery, Brescia, Italy
1991 Signs of Absence, Prisma Gallery, Verona
1995 Containers of Memory,Ronchini Contemporary Art, Terni
1995 Containers of Dreams, Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
1999 Skoto Gallery, New York
2000 TransAfricana, Bologna

Selected Readings
Olive, Achille Bonita, Fathi Hassan. Milan: Charta Milan, 2000.
Schroth, Mary Angela. "Fathi Hassan," TransAfricana: artisti contemporanei: Bologna, 15 gennaio-24 febbraoi 2000, San Giorgio in Poggiale, Collezioni d'arte e di storia della Fondazione Cassa di risparmio in Bologna. Pages 47-49, 72-73. Bologna: Lai-momo, 2000.
Eulisse, Eriberto, 2001. "Writing of Images: The Work of Fathi Hassan". In Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Fall-Winter. Pp: 31-36.
Fathi Hassan: La sostanza dell'anima | Spirit matter. Riccione, Italy: M.A.R.E.


Ghada Amer Berry Bickle Willem Boshoff
Fathi Hassan Rachid Koraichi Berni Searle