Concurrent with the exhibition James Wines: Site Specific the gallery will feature an installation of Susan Hefuna’s large scale sculptures, Afaz.
Over the last 30 years, Hefuna has worked across the media of drawing, installation, film, performance, and sculpture; each one becomes a different structure through which she views and investigates similar concepts.
Afaz continue Hefuna’s practice of repurposing quotidian objects and elevating them to monumental stature. The forms that comprise Afaz are based on the traditional palm wood boxes made by craftsmen outside of Cairo, Egypt; the multi-functional crates are used to transport goods and display wares in the street. The craft of palm wood crate construction possesses an inherent history and pure aesthetic, and Hefuna honors both by collapsing the form and function into autonomous yet contextually engaged artworks. The one meter cubed crates are stacked and held together by string. The wooden towers, visible from different angles question the politics of the space they inhabit.
Afaz has been iterated in a variety of ways since 2001 including the exhibition Celebrate Life at the National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2001), the interactive installation in Hyde Park London for the exhibition I Love Egypt organized by Serpentine Gallery and Townhouse Cairo (2011), and the solo exhibition Susan Hefuna – Another Place, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE(2014).
Susan Hefuna studied painting from 1982 to 1987 and pursued postgraduate studies in New Media from 1990 to 1992. After her studies at German Art Academies, she developed her own method of art making. Over the years her works have been exhibited internationally and have been acquired by numerous museum collections. Career highlights include the exhibition of over 300 drawings (created between 2004 and 2009) in Fare Mondi curated by Daniel Birnbaum for the Venice Biennale in 2009; a 2010 exhibition Drawings in the 21st Century at MoMA, New York; and the award of the International Guerlain Prize for Drawing in Paris in 2013. More recently, Hefuna’s drawings were exhibited at Sharjah Art Foundation in a solo exhibition, Susan Hefuna: Another Place at Bait Al Serkal curated by HH Hoor Al Qasimi, March – June (2014)