Till the End (2014) combines six rectangular blocks into a wall piece. The shape of the individual blocks varies due to open and closed borders. Precise rhythmic shading from light grey to deep black is accompanied by changes in the basic form. Accordingly, the final block is a nearly closed cube with only the rear demarcation missing. This work is complemented by the shadows or non-shadows the borders cast on the wall due to the gallery lighting. Open spaces and demarcation become immediately palpable. The reference to Sol LeWitt (1928–2007), one of the leading exponents of Minimal Art, underscores Harb’s approach. In his seminal work Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes (1974) LeWitt shows 122 ways of configuring cubes as closed or open. In both cases the serial character highlights the artistic concept. Based on its title Till the End, Hazem Harb’s work implies a social dimension. Harb condenses his themes into simple geometric forms in order to question a complex social system. The use of shadows underscores this. According to C. G. Jung’s theory of archetypes the shadow is the complement to the conscious personality: it represents a person’s dark side—that which society rejects and which is hidden in our subconscious. The negative connotations of loss of freedom, of feeling surrounded by boundaries are definitely implied in the subtle shadows.
Museum Villa Stuck