Hans Hamid Rasmussen

Comparative Space

26th November – 23rd December 2010

The classic craft of embroidery is taken up anew, explored and developed by the Norwegian-Algerian artist Hans Hamid Rasmussen in the solo exhibition Comparative spaces. The exhibition presents two large-format textile-based installations as well as a smaller series of works consisting of embroidery on silk with pen-and-ink paintings.

Background of the exhibition
Through the works the artist comments on themes like identity, cultu¬ral affinity and memory. Comparative spaces is based on a memory jour¬ney to Algeria and visits to relatives living in the artist's child¬hood city of Kasban. Experiences there and the encounter with the resi¬¬dents of Kasban have underlined some of the artist's thoughts about the ways in which political and economic conditions are formed by - and not least themselves form - the geography of the city. The laby¬rinthine street structure in Kasban reflects stories that have ari¬sen among the residents. Relations among people criss-cross and inter¬twine and form a community on the basis of experiences and events in situations of both prosperity and adversity.

Two journeys to his childhood city have helped Hans Hamid to develop a special working method in the creation of his works: first a walk through the streets of the city, later reflection on impressions, then sketches of the impressions, and finally embroidery. Moving through the labyrinthine city leads to other thoughts than those the artist is used to in his everyday life in Oslo. Two otherwise dissimilar cities, but both created on the basis of human relations.

Comparative spaces

In the exhibition the understanding of space is tested in two instal¬lations entitled Inverted space I and II. Common to the suspended instal¬lations is the viewer's encounter with the back of the embroi¬de¬ries, while the front of the embroidery is seen in a mirror surface mounted respectively on the floor and on the wall behind the instal¬lation. The picture series, on the other hand, engages with space from a different perspective. Here the works are divided in two: one half shows an embroidered figurative motif while the other consists of a geometric form painted with pen and ink.

The artist
Hans Hamid Rasmussen (b. 1963) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo in 1993. Since 2005 he has been represented by the Martin Asbæk Gallery. The exhibition Compa¬ra¬tive Spaces is the artist's second solo exhibition at the gallery. Hans Hamid is today represented in a number of international museums and in several art collections abroad. In 2010 he was awarded ARKEN's travel grant for his work with visualizing the transient character of memory and bringing renewed energy and meaning to embroidery.