As a practicisng architect, multidisciplinary artist Dina Haddadin’s work often focuses on the visual tension between the clean architectural lines of construction and the disordered, unorganized aspects of empty spaces and the ephemereality of place.

Her bio from her site describes her work as dealing with “the struggle over the right to the city and the right to be different in a landscape of transient urbanization, a study of places in transition and changing geographies and its imagined places.”

Which reminded me of this quote: “We need to explore other spatializations and other topologies, to turn our imaginative geographies into geographical imaginations that can enlarge and enhance our sense of the world.”

Haddadin has had three solo exhibitions, “Monuments: A Refuge in Margins,” (2012) at Nabad Art Gallery, “Beyond Emptiness” (2011) and “Transit” (2010). In the exhibition in 2011, she explores emptiness which often appears to be absence and lack and failure, which drives her to ask what “beyond” emptiness could mean:
هل هو اخفاق في اغلاق فجوة أو ملئ الشيء
أم هو كيانُ فراغاتٍ متبقية…  في مدينة، بناء أو قطعة أرض؟
هل هو حالة وسطية بين لحظة و أخرى
is it a failure to seal up a cavity or a gap?

is it a failure to fill a hole?
a residue,
a negative space in a city, a building or a ground
a space in-between…

In this video she talks about the materials she uses, including cement, coffee and chalk, and her interest in the tensions of space and the construction and destruction of places.

 "Bridging the betweeness" mixed media on wood, 300cmx180cm. Source.
“Bridging the betweeness” mixed media on wood, 300cmx180cm. Source.

In many of her works, the Arabic words for passing, temporary, transient, evanescent, move like waves towards the constructed space, drawing the eye to them, like a suspended moment before an inevitable end.

“The New Downtown”
Chalk and paint on wood, 80 x 50 cm, 2010
Chalk, concrete and coffee on canvas, 500 x 200 cm, 2010

Here’s an interesting discussion of Space and Power in Middle East art (whatever that is) and the new art boom with Mario Gooden in conversation with Dina Haddadin, Saba Innab and Jack Persekian.

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