Facades

2009

Plaster, wood, rusted metal, fabric, clay, found objects, pigment

12" x 12" each

In these early experiments with wall murals in cast plaster, Hafez emphasizes stalled points of entry and exit. Closed doorways and barred windows are framed through a square or rectangular format. In architectural practice, model making (the construction of miniature, to-scale replicas of planned buildings) implicitly announces the promise of the new. Instead the fragmented buildings and homes of Facades imply the passage of time, reflecting a need or desire not to be seen. Are those within truly protected by blocking any view into the "interior" of these facades? Here, Hafez highlights how perceptions of Syrian conflict are negotiated through sight -- both what cannot be seen, what atrocities happen behind the state’s closed doors, and the selective nature of what suffering and violence is made visible in the global circulation of images.   

A digital program, with student curated research materials, for the exhibition Critical Refuge: Sculptures by Mohamad Hafez on view at the Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, August 30 - December 20, 2017.

This project is generously sponsored by the YALE Digital Humanities Laboratory, the Council on Middle East Studies, the Public Humanities Program and the Whitney Humanities Center.