It is with pleasure that Martin Asbæk Gallery presents this year’s first solo exhibition in which, from Friday 9 February, we welcome visitors to Kasbah Walking – an insightful and historical walk through the streets of the Kasbah with the Norwegian-Algerian artist Hans Hamid Rasmussen.
Hans Hamid Rasmussen has photographed the streets in the old Kasbah neighborhood of Algiers with a focus on the lighting and the structure of the wall facades of the city. The photographs were taken in the very early morning hours before the sun comes out and erases all the beautiful nuances.
The name ‘kasbah’ is used in general of the walled citadel found in many North African cities. In the kasbah of Algiers there are remains of a citadel, an old mosque and a palace in the Ottoman style. Etymologically, a kasbah means a citadel wall protecting the interests of the former rulers of the city. In the event of war, the wall, along with the infrastructure of the city, would delay and cut off enemies coming from the outside. The structure of the streets and the colours of the facades would make the enemies lose their bearings and thus force them to split up into smaller groups, which would make them easier to attack.
The exhibition presents a number of analog photographs with hand embroideries. Hamid Rasmussen cuts holes in the photos and adds large or small paper or textile elements by sewing them into the paper, producing a kind of spatial reliefs. The black-and-white photograph and the colourful textiles together create a reference to the old city neighbourhood in Algiers and the play of its colours with the light in the architecture.
Hamid Rasmussen’s work explores the intercultural dilemmas and the possibility of expres¬sing both the introverted, silent language he has from his early childhood in Algeria, and the extroverted language he has from growing up in Norway. Hamid Rasmussen refers to his artistic project as a ‘homage to the hybrid’, in which he tries with his embroideries to give form to the experience of ruptures in language.
Hans Hamid Rasmussen was born in 1963 in Algeria and moved at the age of 7 with his family to Norway, where he lives and works today. Hamid Rasmussen studied in 1989-1993 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo, where he now teaches as a professor. Since 2005 he has been represented by Martin Asbæk Gallery. The exhibition Kasbah Walking is the artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. He is represented today at a number of international museums and in several art collections abroad. In 2010 he was awarded ARKEN’s travel grant for his work with the visualization of the transient character of memory and for bringing renewed energy and meaning to embroidery.