Khaled Sabsabi: A Hope
Campbelltown Arts Centre | Tuesday 4 January 2022 – Sunday 27 March 2022
A Hope is an invitation to explore Khaled Sabsabi’s multidisciplinary contemporary work and his unique perspective on the world. Theexhibition considers the connection between spiritual belief, culture and politics. A Hope follows another major exhibition of the artist’s work: A Promise ran at the AGNSW from July 2020 to January 2021. Together, the two survey exhibitions offer a complementary interpretation of the exchange between spiritual belief and human aspiration made visible in Sabsabi’s practice.
Comprising over 20 works across two decades of practice, A Hope brings together Sabsabi’s large scale, immersive works alongside intimate collections of his multidisciplinary works, featuring painting, photography and video. Co-curated in conjunction with the artist, the two exhibitions combine to create the most ambitious showcase of work ever presented by Sabsabi in his home city.
According to Khaled Sabsabi, A Hope investigates his view that the world we live in is often described by a relationship between the material and the immaterial, between the physical and the spiritual. However, the artist believes that these binaries are not mutually exclusive. Instead, Sabsabi seeks to collapse these divides, preferring to envision aspects of our world where the ordinary presents opportunities for moments of interaction and heightened states of spirituality.
‘A Hope is in essence an offering of the in-between space: the slow and unseen space where changes, like life, can pass us by without noticing. Hope itself is a possibility, something that is familiar and common to us all and something that lives deep down in our humanity. It is the belief and intent of a better reality or circumstance. It sometimes embodies anxiety and fear and in other times joy and will. Regardless, hope requires patience and perseverance,’ says Sabsabi.
The C-A-C exhibition features works across Sabsabi’s career. Highlights include Aajnya, one of Sabsabi’s earliest works which originally featured in the exhibition Arabmade at Casula Powerhouse in 1998. It will be recreated in 2022 for the new exhibition. Aajnya uses multisensory triggers such as scent and vibration to reflect one of the artist’s earliest memories from the Lebanese civil war. Another highlight is Bring the Silence, 2018, a major five-channel video installation which was presented at the 21st Biennale of Sydney. Finally, C-A-C is proud to present a newly-commissioned multidisciplinary work. Titled 40, the work considers common social values that are inspired by our collective realities and human condition. Created during the global pandemic of 2020, the work will be taking centre place in the exhibition.
Campbelltown Arts Centre is proud to have championed Sabsabi’s work within multiple exhibitions over the last decade. According to Director of C-A-C, Michael Dagostino, Sabsabi has a critically important place in the Australian contemporary art landscape: “I met Khaled 20 years ago and installed his work Aajnya as part of the exhibition Arabmade. Since then, I have watched Khaled’s success rapidly grow to see him become an internationally-renowned artist, who is at times overlooked in the local landscape. Khaled reflects a truthful depiction of culture that makes up who we are and it is our responsibility to recognise his practice and share it with the community.”
Born in Tripoli, Lebanon in 1965, Khaled Sabsabi migrated to Australia in late 1976 to flee the Lebanese civil war. His family settled in Western Sydney and this is where he continues to live and work. Sabsabi is known for working across art mediums, geographical borders and cultures to create immersive and engaging art experiences. He sees art as an effective tool to communicate with people, through a familiar language. The artist aims to makes work that questions rationales and complexities of nationhood, identity and change. His practice speaks to audiences in ways that enlighten our understanding of universal dynamics which is more complex and more unknowable than our selves.
Khaled Sabsabi: A Promise and A Hope have been developed in partnership with the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Campbelltown Arts Centre. The exhibitions have been co-curated by Khaled Sabsabi, Matt Cox (Curator Asian Art, AGNSW) and Adam Porter (Head of Curatorial, C-A-C).
Exhibition: Khaled Sabsabi: A Hope
Dates: Tuesday 4 January 2022 – Sunday 27 March 2022 Venue: Campbelltown Arts Centre