This body of work is centred around the divisive social separations of economics. Rad Hourani examines the social, national and topographical relationships in our everyday environments. By exploring the notion of land as a place of neutrality, Rad Hourani suggests an alternative understanding to the social conceptions of identity. To bring to light the fictitious mental constructions of symbolic semiotics which we function with, and the historical structures of confined identity. Moreover, this exposes the impacts of our mental and physical divisions, created from authorized hierarchies for economic gain.
Thematically, the depictions are initiated through the hybridization of sculpture and painting. Rad Hourani interrogates the philosophical potency of what it is to be human in the physical world. He considers how one identifies the self with objects such as flags, doors, money, maps, stamps and signs. We identify with the resonance of names, languages and anthems, along with social identifiers, such as gender, skin colour, sexual orientation and body forms. Commemorating the attachment of identity also with notions of age, theology, borders and social classes, further encourage for participation in competition. Success is then further measured in the identity ties to belief systems of status, nationality, religion, politics and other forms of indoctrination.
The use of these normalized labels procures connotations of selfhood since childhood, while only existing with value in non-physical and sensorial realms. These subconscious illusions create stereotypes, misogyny, inequality, prejudice and supremacy, from which derogatory terms are born. Rad Hourani observes how humanity is separated by fragmentation of various signifiers producing mental limitations, and wishes to return to our unconditioned roots as an entity.
© 2015 RAD HOURANI
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PERCENTAGES - 2015
ACRYLIC ON WOOD PANEL 152.4 X 101.6 CM ( 60” X 40” ) EDITION 1/1
Each colour is applied in a perfectly demarcated vertical band. The width of the segments reflect the percentages each colour is used in all national flags. The dream of a unique flag for the entire planet becomes a concrete proposition in this artwork.
The colour percentages are: red, 30% - white, 30%, green, 15% - blue, 12% - yellow, 9% - light blue, 8% - black, 5% - orange, 2% - purple, less than 1% - brown, less than 1% - grey, less than 1%.
EQUAL - 2015
ALUMINUM - POWDER COATED PAINT 74.3 X 182.9 X 25.4 CM ( 29.25” X 72” X 10” ) EDITION 1/1
This aluminum sculpture uses a simple and stable rectangular shape. It acts as a metaphor for a balanced and egalitarian society. According to Rad Hourani, an economy based on personal and social exchanges rather than money would lead to a stable society.
WARLESS - 2015
MILITARY IDENTIFICATION TAGS - MEDALS PRESENTATION BOX 8.9 X 66.7 X 20.9 CM ( 3.5” X 26.25” X 8.25” ) EDITION 1/1
This sculpture is constituted of blank military identification tags shown in a presentation box meant to store and display military medals. All deployed soldiers going to war are issued two identification tags such as these to be able to identify their bodies in the event that they perish on the battlefield. They receive two so that one can remain with the body and the other can be used through the bureaucratic process of identifying the soldier, and later remitted to a next of kin. By using blank tags, Rad Hourani is proposing a world that has no requirement for such devices. He is suggesting a reality without wars and military deaths.
OPEN DOORS - 2015
WOOD - PAINT - HINGES - VINYL 203.2 X 134.6 X 76.2 CM ( 80” X 53” X 30” ) EDITION 1/1
Doors represent either openings or obstructions in our society. Here, three doors are hung fully open and without locking mechanisms. They represent a desire, of the artist, to abolish any hurdles linked to gender, ethnicity and social classes. This work also refers to the entrenched history of segregation throughout the twentieth century.
SELF CONSTRUCTION - 2016
STEEL - COATINGS ( GOLD - SILVER - BRONZE ) 3 TIMES 96.5 X 10.2 X 10.2 CM ( 38” X 4” X 4” ) EDITION 1/1
This work is composed of three sculptures that simultaneously recall trophies and construction, though their exterior finishes and screw-like shape. According to Rad Hourani, many individuals define themselves through awards and other forms of social distinctions. Through this process, they invariably compare themselves competitively to others. The artist believes that life and contexts in which individuals have to perform to the best of their abilities should be seen as learning experiences instead of competitive experiences. In his vision, claiming first, second, third or hundredth is all the same. This is expressed in the piece, as all three sculptures are the exact same height.
ONE - 2015
INKJET PRINT ON WHITE 1⁄8” CINTRA - FRAME (ANTI-REFLECTIVE GLASS UV) 48.9 X 79.4 CM ( 19.25” X 31.25” ) EDITION 1/1
Here Rad Hourani presents the viewer with a simplified depiction of the landmasses on planet Earth. All geopolitical borders have been removed to suggest a world where borders and countries do not exist. Human beings share every inhabitable space as they were prior to the creation of ‘evolved’ societies; without segregation, division, or limitations.
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