beirut

Hassan Khan, The Portrait is an Address, 2016, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Walid Rashid.

Hassan Khan

Beirut Art Center

Hassan Khan, The Portrait is an Address, 2016, mixed media. Installation view. Photo: Walid Rashid.

Of the many organizing principles through which to present the work of Hassan Khan—moving chronologically from early to recent work, for example, or arranging disparate mediums into thematic clusters related to recurring ideas of power or dreams—portraiture would appear the least obvious. Since the late 1990s, the Egyptian artist has made a slew of videos, photographs, installations, animations, sculptures, and performances that deliberately resist—even defy—categorization. He is a musician who pays close attention to the vicissitudes of shaabi, literally “of the people,” a genre of gritty urban dance music that is forever reinventing itself in working-class Cairo. He is also a keen observer of the political and intellectual dramas of urban life, noting the choreography of police brutality, the cruel details of socioeconomic class, and the tiny acts of aggression

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