This July, we are excited to present the works of Moroccan artist Hassan Darsi. We chose three videos, open to interpretation, and powerfully influenced by the artist’s life, experiences and environment which aim to investigate collective clashes in a figurative sense.
We condensed the first two videos, The Running Man I. Half Moon (2009) and The Running Man II. Rue de L’enfer (2012), into one. By using a split screen, we allow the viewers to compare two films which complement one another. The artist, dressed in red and green (the colors of the national flag), runs in a seemingly abandoned and unfinished property, and through the streets of Casablanca, without any apparent purpose. This infinite run is indisputably denouncing the malfunctions of the Moroccan urban reality, which is often governed by the failures of business insatiability.
The second video, Or d’Afrique (2008), explores one of Hassan Darsi’s ongoing themes: gilding, or the process of applying gold leaf or gold paint to a surface. Inspired by some golden household wallpaper he found in an artisan’s shop next to his studio, Darsi conceived a video work investigating social processes connected to contemporary Moroccan society. These self-adhesive rolls were originally used for precision ornamental decoration in the style of hand-painted leafing. Darsi then applied this wallpaper to the concrete blocks of a jetty along the shore of Casablanca. Despite the sea wash, the intervention lasted for some months, making the shiny blocks stand out among the others. At the end of the project, the artist collected the cutout leftovers he used and decorated his office with them, while also developing a series of abstract artworks on paper.
Hassan Darsi has lived and worked in Morocco since the end of the 1980s, after attending the School of Visual Arts and Visual Mons in Belgium. In 1995 he founded “La Source du Lion”, an association and cultural space hosting contemporary art events in Casablanca and abroad. Darsi has exhibited in art centres, museums and biennials worldwide. His works has been shown in Senegal, South Africa, Lebanon, Spain, France, Germany, United States, Czechoslovakia, The Netherlands, Belgium and in Morocco. Darsi’s work also features prominently in a number of private collections, and his works can be found in the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, the MC2A Gallery in Bordeaux, the Artothèque of Schiedam in the Netherlands, and at the Ministry of Finance in Morocco.