PRISKA C. JUSCHKA FINE ART
P R E S E N T S
The Gradual Approach of My Disintegration
Priska C. Juschka Fine Art is pleased to present the new sculptural installation The Gradual Approach of My Disintegration by the artist Diana Al-Hadid. By melding personal biography with cultural iconography, Al-Hadid interlaces place, history and self.
Composed of two parts, Al-Hadid combines foam, polystyrene and fiberglass for the production of an elaborate multi-layered construction with a distinct internal logic. The pivotal component of the sculpture is Al-Hadid's recreation of the Aleppo citadel — a fortress that was built in her Syrian birth city in the 10th century for military purposes, and eventually became a holy site for Muslims. The structure sits on an elliptical base atop a hill, hovering over the ancient city as the streets wrap around it. In the sculpture, the citadel is placed upon a classical column, which has been 'humanized' and given feet in place of its traditional base. The corresponding part of the installation consists of a Corinthian capital, which its characteristic acanthus leaves have been displaced and fallen to the ground, and a molding of the artist's own sandals. Connecting the two parts of the installation is a divided bridge that its two portions end with hands that echo Michelangelo's Creation of Adam image from the Sistine Chapel.
Many of the elements that comprise this sculpture evoke a feeling of unrest — the unstable, hovering feet upon which the fortress and column stand, the fractured bridge, the acanthus leaves that have blown off the Corinthian capital, and the overall permeating emotional Baroque tone. By overturning the essence of these emblems of stability and endurance, Al-Hadid reflects her own experience of uneasiness that stems from having grown up as a child to an immigrant family in the US. Amongst the various cultural references, she has placed her sandals, thus inserting herself into the medley of significant imagery. By juxtaposing classical western iconography with eastern references she bridges the two cultures that compose her own self, in turn giving form to the paradoxical adherence and detachment that she has felt towards both.
Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Ohio, and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She holds an MFA in sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as a BFA in sculpture and a BA in Art History from Kent State University. She has been the focus of several solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, Indiana, and Washington DC, amongst others. She has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions across the US, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Richmond (VA), and Cleveland (OH). She has recently completed several residencies such as AIM 26 at the Bronx Museum and the Sculpture Space residency in Utica. This exhibition is the artist's first solo endeavor in New York.
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 to 6:00 PM or by appointment.