Re-build 2012

The work 'Re-build' is made out of a piece of a thin striped sponge mattress, it looks as if it has been used and re-used again and again. Its corners are cut out, making it look like an architectural plan, a basic floor plan for a house perhaps. A cement brick is laid out in one of the corners sideways making it look almost like a bed. The work is amongst the most recent body of sculptural works that artist Hazem Harb has been working on, which depicts the intimacy between architectural ruins, the body and violence. The cement brick denotes infrastructure, or rather the building material of interior walls and facades: infrastructural elements in our utmost private and daily lives, which supposedly gives shelter, support and protection that is of course until they collapse. The binding together of such material with the frailty of the mattress is fraught with the binding together of the human and the architectural. The flimsy mattress invokes sleep, perhaps an eternal sleep induced by the slab-like brick signaling human traces and thus an affinity between architecture and the body, a ruined architectural form signifies a ruined body. Hazem foregrounds the alienating feeling of our utmost homely and intimate surroundings turning into nightmarish life threatening objects, where architecture becomes the crushing weight of violence against our bodies. Hazem disrupts our trust in architecture and infrastructure. He strips bare both the brick, usually hidden behind painted walls, and the thinness of the mattress, which is usually cushioned in layers and cloth, revealing an architecture of vulnerability.


Lara Khaldi