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Ilan Wizgan

The art works in the site represent several bodies of work created in the past few years. The main body of works, Planted, connects a series of old portrait and still-life paintings to large canvases, on which a completely new scene was constructed that adopted the old paintings and made them an integral part of the new story. This body of works meets the viewer in a zone of ​​discomfort, a kind of twilight zone between reality and imagination. The exhibition consists of large-scale paintings and a series of small prints, a kind of minor echoes of the large works, which constitute additional variations to the subjects in the paintings. The large works are made in mixed media that use mainly oil painting, collage and acrylic, in large painting gestures in which the artist activates her entire body. The inspiration for the images comes from various sources: everyday materials, personal experiences, and actual issues. Hasson is looking for images that interest her visually while at the same time contain potential for stories. The common denominator of this body of work is the artist's choice to reuse old paintings - portraits and still-lifes - some of them even painting exercises from the time of her studies at the Amsterdam Academy of Art, around which she develops a plot that has nothing to do with the creation of the early painting. The portraits are of real people that the artist painted from observation but the whole scene is invented,

fabricated. The characters are inserted into a story that is not theirs, moving between different possibilities of reality. Moreover, the same portraits are duplicated in works with a printed background and oscillate between different works, each time connected to another situation. The way in which the ready-made portrait receives its new body dictates a separate scene that brings the viewer to another story; The figure of a teacher or educating mother transforms into the image of a woman in a psychiatric hospital, a nun rolls into scenes with erotic tension, and the artist herself, with and without a mask, changes roles ranging from positions of strength to positions of weakness.

Hasson creates situations that seem to merge together the "real" world with the "virtual" world, which exists in the social networks, and allows for posing and inventing alternative narratives and identities. At the same time, social and political issues arise that raise questions, but do not offer answers. The status of women and their place in society is one of the subjects that preoccupy the artist; it is reflected in a series of works with a photographed background of a psychiatric hospital in which women diagnosed as "hysterical" were hospitalized. In an act that combines criticism of the conservative and discriminatory society that has been ruled too long by men, and empathy with the victims of this social order, the artist plants her portrait in the figures of the women who are being treated and places herself in the hospital rooms.

The connection of different elements, which do not naturally fit into one another naturally and routinely, gives rise to paintings that contain much of the secret and the riddle, and often a sense of being strangely familiar and threatening, in the sense of Freud's Unheimlich concept, making it difficult to interpret the situation as good or bad, pleasing or displeasing, as Lacan explained. The situations we apparently recognize seem to be disturbingly alienated. We are exposed to situations we are not accustomed to; we know of their existence, but they usually occur behind a screen or in a backroom, and our knowledge of their nature is second- or third-hand knowledge. We identify them with the dark realm, between the allowed and the forbidden, the normative and the non-normative.

Alongside this body of works, or just before it, several other bodies of work were created, in the center of which is the home space, with a portrait of the artist alone or interacting with other family members. Day Dreamingfor example is a series charged with tension. It describes seemingly domestic and routine situations, but the way the scene is treated, the choice of colors, the location of some of the events in the darkness of the night or the dimness of the dusk - all give the whole series an oppressive feeling and a kind of anxiety in face of the unexpected. In the Constant Floatingseries, which is based on photographs of the artist in various parts of her home, the tension is created by digital manipulations that flood the entire space surrounding the figure in water. Here, too, the observer is alarmingly facing the moment in which the event is frozen, without knowing what happened or might happen to the character.

Somewhat different is the series Background Check. The technique is already familiar to us: photographs that have been digitized and processed so that a homey, Western environment is built around one single figure, a figure of a clearly non-Western child or girl, probably from continents that we quite patronizingly call “The Third World”. Apparently in a direct reference to the issue of refugees and migrant workers flooding Europe in recent years, this series also reveals Hasson's sensitivity to social injustice, identification with the weak and the detached from home and own natural environment, and the urge to adopt and give home to those thousands of unfortunate children.

The anticipation of the unexpected seems to characterize also the series of paintings Heaven Is Here, although this, unlike the other series, depicts external landscapes, idyllic views of pastoral nature - a forest watercourse, a thicket of bushes, flamingos drinking water at a lakeside, and the such – all characterized by a kind of silence preceding a storm. This sensation is achieved again through the choice of color and location of the scene in those hours of the day between darkness and light. Except for the flamingos in one of the paintings, the series is devoid of living creatures, primordial in character, and therefore, perhaps, also without potential evil. This series stands against the above-mentioned series, all of which feature human figures, and serves as a reminder of the potential for good and growth that can characterize the small planet in which we live, if we would only make the right choices.

Text by Ilan Wizgan

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