Susan Hefuna: CROSSROADS 2002-2016
The CROSSROADS series exhibited at Pi Artworks London centres on different parts of the world such as Cairo, the Nile Delta and Frankfurt (Oder), and London in which two roads intersect. Each video consists of a stationary, single-take shot filmed from an upper floor window ledge. The camera's angle and motionlessness in addition to the absence of post-production creates a starkly empirical and evidential feel reminiscent of CCTV camera footage. They document interconnected bodies that influence each other's movement as they travel through small cross-sections of a city.
The recognisable aesthetic syntax underlying Hefuna's well-known sculptures and works on paper is the asymmetrical, fragile, intuitively composed grid like structure. Within the CROSSROADS series, the bodies moving through the space observed by the camera become the substitute for Hefuna's drawing and the crossroads become the guiding structural framework.
Within some works from the series, performers relaying notations devised by the artist move amongst those caught on camera going about their daily business. The subtle and quotidian nature of the performer's actions means that nothing is instantly recognisable as staged, yet their repetition makes them unsettlingly strange. Subsequently the actions of those unaware of being caught on camera become strange due to the heightened engagement and closer viewing of the spectator. The everyday and the rehearsed are overlaid and intermingle within the logic of the structure.
Each CROSSROADS is both an empirical record of real-time events and a subtly choreographed scene. To the viewer, it remains unclear which pedestrians are unaware they are being filmed and which, if any, are following their script.
This year the Guggenheim New York has acquired nine of Hefuna's works which will be included in exhibition: But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise at Guggenheim New York, USA in April; This year her work will also be on view at Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; and Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK.
Susan Hefuna, b. 1962. Major exhibition include, But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise, curated by Sara Raza, Guggenheim New York, USA (2016); Chers Amis, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); Barjeel Art Foundation Collection, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); The Strange and the Familiar (solo), UBS Schloss Wolfsberg, Switzerland (2015); Contemporary Art of the Middle East, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA (2015); Susan Hefuna: Another Place (solo), Sharjah Art Foundation, Bait Al Serkal, Sharjah (2014); Buildings (solo), Osthaus Museum, Hagen, Germany (2014); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York, USA (2014); NOTATIONOTATIONS, The Drawing Center, New York, USA (2013); Nouvelles Vagues- Champs Elysees, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013); On the Edgware Road, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2012); Edgware Road@Cairo 2010/1431 (solo), The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt (2010); On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (2010); Fare Mondi, 53rd Venice Biennial, Italy (2009); and The Jameel Art Prize, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2009); Museum as Hub: Antikhana, (2008) New Museum, New York, USA.
In 2013 she received the international Guerlain Drawing Award in Paris.
Hefuna's work is documented in three Volumes Pars Pro Toto I-III (2007-2014), by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist.