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Jamelie Hassan, The Only Book of its Kind
Published 2008

30,5 x 45 cm
Color photograph, c-print
10 + 2 a.p numbered copies

This print is From Orientalism & Ephemera, an exhibition by the artist @ Art Metropole, Toronto.

The book was found in London, Canada, 2005 and photographed by the artist.

*****

From Art Metropole's press release 2006:

—Art Metrople is pleased to announce the opening reception for Jamelie Hassan’s Orientalism & Ephemera on Saturday April 8. Hassan will be attendance, giving an artist’s talk about the exhibition at 3 pm.

Many of Jamelie Hassan’s projects have referenced her personal connection to the Middle East. The works presented in Orientalism & Ephemera in particular draw on Hassan’s reading of Edward Said’s ground-breaking book Orientalism (1979). Today increasing confusion throughout the world in relation to Arab and Muslim identities continues and has generated rigorous interest in Hassan’s long held concerns. This exhibition presents a selection of the artist’s collection and helps elucidate the significance and context of her cultural production, as well as that of other artists.

Through souvenirs, pamphlets, postcards, catalogues, travel and commercial items, documents & photographs, Jamelie Hassan explores this idea with a focus on this “Orient”, creating an installation with material collected from the cultural spaces of Cairo, Alexandria, Beirut, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Vienna, Istanbul, Paris, Barcelona and Toronto and London, Canada.

The exhibition points to the attraction and presence of the “east” within our everyday experience. For many artists this awareness presents a way to counter the violence of today’s conflicts. Much of our contemporary cultural exchange is in response to the repeated violence of the politics of empire-building projects that attempt to colonize the spatial, disempower the colonized and destroy cultures. In Orientalism, Said brought home the Orient, not as a threatening other but as “an integral part of European material civilization and culture”. Hassan’s focus on ephemeral artifacts reflects this closeness and presents a modest alternative method to examine the innumerable manifestations of Orientalism.

The idea for orientalism & ephemera was proposed to Art Metropole in 2004 and initially involved the idea of a selection from Hassan’s archives, which she calls the The Centre for Baalqisian Studies. The exhibition has expanded to include some works and projects by contemporary artists, Luitgard Eisenmeier and the Café Nil, Vienna, Johanna Kandl, Vienna, Lisl Ponger, Vienna, Stan Denniston/Jamelie Hassan, Toronto, London, Ont., Ron Benner, London, Ont., Farouk Kaspaules, Ottawa, Duncan de Kergommeaux, Chelsea, Québec and Julie Sando, Windsor.