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Radio Silence, Rana Haddad Beirut 2016

Roccagloriosa, Rana Haddad and Pascal Hachem, Italy, 2014

Residency 2017

Rana Haddad and Pascal Hachem


Public art programme Letting Space's first international residency, hosted Lebanese architect and artist collaborators Rana Haddad and Pascal Hachem in Wellington City April-May 2017. Alongside public talks the pair created an urban intervention ('Unsettled') in response to the city, images of which can be seen here

Rana Haddad, Assistant Professor at the American University of Beirut, is an established architect. Pascal Hachem is an artist and designer.  Haddad and Hachem have been working for the past decades in response to their everyday life experience and shifting conditions culminating in temporary installations. Their body of work is described as highly politicized, taking on bold issues through provocative installations, objects and performances. After 20 years of experience within public institutions, they have been working in found public spaces in Turkey, Lebanon, and Italy.

Haddad and Hachem provided a public presentation about their work at Adam Auditorium, City Gallery Wellington on May 10. Whilst in Wellington they worked in the city with a site found for them through Urban Dream Brokerage, Letting Space’s service that brokers space for ideas by artists and groups in the city.

Rana Haddad and Sophie Jerram from Letting Space met in Copenhagen in 2016 and recognised synergies in their temporary practice.  

“We are thrilled to be able to make the Wellington-Beirut connection and learn about strong experiences of public space in space and time of international conflict,” says Sophie Jerram.

Haddad and Hachem say “We are the product of the war. And our work is still a reflection of our city and of cities. We choose to look at Beirut as it stands today: a city riddled with danger, yet ripe with potential. Learning to embrace whatsoever experience that comes to us.

“Beirut became our ready-made, be it a street, pavement, or a theatre. Drifting between architecture, design, performance and storytelling, our professional practice and academics led us to discover new potentials in existing conditions. We have absorbed all we have experienced, whether during the war years or in their aftermath. We’ve reacted to the polarized socio/political and economic factors that have engulfed the state since then. We have become activists in the city.”

The public talk was supported by the Wellington Branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and City Gallery Wellington.