Living and working in Tetouan, Hassan Echair is deeply inspired by the meeting of two continents. In his work the artist invokes the fleeting and non-material aspect of life: through the combination of elements like glass, stones and ropes, he creates structures that involve the presence and fleeting of shadow, like an imprint of an instant that has quickly passed as an assault on the infinite.
The artist defines his practice as the process of “digging a hole into the ground: if you see it from far away it is a hole in the ground, but as you get closer, the whole becomes deeper and deeper. My equilibrium depends on three factors: the first retains me to the top, and then the second attracts me and finds its roots in the depths; the third is a movement between the two, a search for equilibrium, for connections, for attractions.”
« Hassan Echair uses elementary materials to suggest movement. He does so by creating installations which reinvent the traces of a nomadic life that is proper to the Africans’ reality and life experiences. From basic elements, he composes lightweight structures. Like some sort of travel architectonics, the artworks possess equilibrium that makes each one of them bring an ephemeral camping to mind. With ropes, stones, bamboo covered with coarse salt, or plywood swing chair, he combines different formulas to speak of the time of a halt, the mobility of walkers, the passing of herds, or the crossing of a river. Conceived in situ, and inspired by the magic of the place and local materials, these installations remind us that temporality is, first and foremost, cultural, that it is related to lifestyles and the way of inhabiting a place, of moving and of dealing with the exterior. It is this phenomenology of time passing in a smooth environment which enables the disposition to meet and come into contact, which leads consequently to the disposition to an aesthetic of hospitality. The preoccupation of the artist is to create a feeling of ephemerality and durability, at the same time, through the suggestion of precariousness and stability. »
About the exhibition
• Interview of Hassan Echair with Florence Darsi