Jamelie Hassan, Because . . . there was and there wasn't a city of Baghdad, 1991. Billboard, 285.0 x 650.0 cm. Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia. Purchased with the financial support of The Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and Salah J. Bachir, 2005. Photo: Howard Ursuliak.
Jamelie Hassan, ن [pronounced 'noon'], 2009.
Neon, ceramic tile mounted on plywood,
122.0 x 122.0 x 15.0 cm. Collection of the artist.
Photo: John Tamblyn.
Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words. Exhibition catalogue. 100 pages, colour images. Soft cover. Essays/Writings by Melanie Townsend, Scott Watson, Mahmoud Darwish, Dot Tuer, Cliff Eyland, Monika Kin Gagnon, Mireya Folch-Serra, Scott Toguri McFarlane and Andy Patton. $20.00.
ISBN# 978-1-897215-23-4 — To order contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 604.822.2759,
Since the 1970s, Jamelie Hassan’s work has been influenced by cultural politics, social activism, and her background as a Canadian born to Arab parents. Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words is the first survey of the work of this award-winning, London, Ontario artist. The exhibition includes over two dozen paintings, drawings, photographs, multi-media installations, as well as the billboard—Because . . . there was and there wasn’t a city of Baghdad.
Throughout her career, Hassan has maintained that artists have a responsibility to address the important issues of their time. The works in this show, produced from 1971 to 2009, indicate her abiding interest in cultural history and the issues of exclusion, human rights, and justice.
Because . . . there was and there wasn’t a city of Baghdad, the readily seen billboard project placed on the outside wall of the Belkin Art Gallery, features a photograph that Hassan took in the late 1970s during her first visit to Baghdad where she was an Arabic language student. The billboard was conceived as a response to the Gulf War in 1991. Within six months of the war, the billboard was displayed in the Canadian city centres of Windsor, London, and then later in Vancouver. The work is compelling when set against the context of politics, economics, and international conflict. Though nearly two decades has passed since the Gulf War, Hassan’s evocative combination of text and image continues to resonate.
Works of art in this exhibition are also presented on the campus of The University of British Columbia: one at the Museum of Anthropology (6393 Northwest Marine Drive) and one at Walter C. Koerner Library (1958 Main Mall).
Jamelie Hassan has travelled extensively throughout North America, Mexico, Cuba, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. She works as an artist, writer, curator, and lecturer. Her work is represented in major collections across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), the Glenbow Museum (Calgary), and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. Hassan has received numerous awards for her work including the Governor General’s Award in the Visual and Media Arts in 2001.
Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words is curated by Melanie Townsend and Scott Watson and co-organized by Museum London and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at The University of British Columbia. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes essays by Cliff Eyland, Mireya Folch-Serra, Monika Kin Gagnon, Andy Patton, Scott Toguri McFarlane, and Dot Tuer. This exhibition was presented at Museum London (March 7 to May 30, 2009) and will be shown at the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery (September 16 to October 29, 2010) and the Carleton University Art Gallery (November 26, 2012 to February 3, 2013). This project was made possible with support from the City of London, the Ontario Arts Council, and The Canada Council for the Arts. We thank the Museum of Anthropology and Walter C. Koerner Library at The University of British Columbia for participating in this exhibition.
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