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Three-channel video installation by Moroccan-born artist Hassan Hajjaj opens at LACMA
Hassan Hajjaj, still from My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume 1, Poetic Pilgrimage, 2012, Purchased with funds provided by Art of the Middle East: CONTEMPORARY, courtesy of Rose Issa Projects.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents Hassan Hajjaj: My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume 1, an exhibition featuring a three-channel video installation by Moroccan-born artist Hassan Hajjaj. My Rock Stars Experimental, Volume 1 includes nine separately filmed performances by an international array of musicians—Hajjaj’s “rock stars.” The performers wear clothes that the artist designed himself and pose in spaces covered by patterns he selected. Clad in traditional fabrics, as well as luxury-brand clothes and shoes, the musicians bridge the gap between now and then, us and them, and high and low culture, thus reflecting a fusion of Moroccan craftsmanship and contemporary art.

Several of Hajjaj’s featured musicians were largely unknown until they were “discovered” by the artist. The London-based Moroccan musician Simo Lagnawi, however, is a renowned performer of Gnawa, traditional African-Islamic spiritual songs and rhythms that in recent decades have been transformed into a type of popular music. The thoughtful message of Hajjaj’s (exuberant, colorful, and playful) video comes through its Moroccan-infused multiculturalism.

Mandisa Dumezweni (“Sit Down”)
Mandisa Dumezweni is a South African singer based in London. She sings “Sit Down” from her Slow Burn EP.

Jose James (“Code”)
Jose James is a singer-songwriter from the United States and trained at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. “Code” is from his album Blackmagic (2010).

Boubacar Kafando (Gnawa song)
Boubacar Kafando is a Gnawa musician from Burkina Faso. He plays the kora, a 21-string bridge-harp from West Africa and sings a traditional Gnawa song.

Toca Feliciano (Capoeira song)
Toca Feliciano is a capoeira master from Brazil, now based in London. He plays the berimbau, a Brazilian musical bow that is used to control the speed of capoeira games.

Simo Lagnawi (Gnawa song)
Simo Lagnawi, from Morocco, is the UK’s leading Gnawa musician.

The Venus Bushfires (“Love Our Lovers”)
The Venus Bushfires is Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor, a singer-songwriter from Nigeria. She plays the Swiss-made hang drum and performs “Love Our Lovers” from her EP The Venus Bushfires (2013).

Poetic Pilgrimage (“No More War”)
Poetic Pilgrimage, of Jamaican descent, is the Hip Hop duo Muneera Rashida and Sukina Abdul Noor. The pair is the subject of the forthcoming documentary Hip Hop Hijabis directed by Mette Reitzel.

MARQUES TOLIVER (“Charter Music”)
Marques Toliver is a violinist, vocalist, composer, and magazine editor from the U.S. “Charter Music” is from his EP Butterflies Are Not Free (2011).

LUZMIRA ZERPA (“El dia que yo me case”)
Luzmira Zerpa is a Venezuelan singer-songwriter and founder of the music and dance group Family Atlantica.

Hassan Hajjaj was born in Larache, a small harbor town in northern Morocco; he moved to London as a teenager and now divides his time between London and Marrakesh. Best known as a photographer, Hajjaj has recently turned to video to depict a globalized society in which the margins of cultural identity—whether African, Arab, or European—are continuously shifting and blurred.

Some of his sitters are deliberately clothed or framed to create a conscious friction with Western stereotypes. Clad in traditional fabrics, clothes, and shoes (often branded with Louis Vuitton or Nike logos), and posed in the manner of international fashion models, his subjects bridge gaps, reflecting a brilliant fusion of Moroccan street style and contemporary art.

Today's News

December 23, 2013

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Frieze New York 2014: Third edition will feature over 190 of the world’s leading contemporary galleries

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Bonhams take market leadership in Australia three years after launching in 2010

Hamburger Kunsthalle opens most extensive German exhibition to date of Gego's work

Orange County Museum of Art appoints Chief Curator Dan Cameron as Interim Director

Noted second generation abstract expressionist artist, Charles Cajori passed away on December 1

Retrospective of a legendary photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer William Klein opens at Foam

On the longest night of the year, SC Johnson illuminates historic Frank Lloyd Wright Research Tower

Sotheby's sale in New York sets a record at auction for a Tiffany Studios Wisteria table lamp

Three-channel video installation by Moroccan-born artist Hassan Hajjaj opens at LACMA

Union League Club of Chicago recognizes Theaster Gates and the late Ellen Lanyon

Waterman "Three Snakes" Fountain Pen leads Fine Writing Instruments Auction at Bonhams

Chinese works of art bring $14 million at Bonhams San Francisco December auction

TRAFO's first artists in residence Andreas Blank and Jarik Jongman open exhibitions

Lilli Carré's first solo museum exhibition opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Michael Goedhuis to feature Chinese contemporary ink artist Wei Ligang during Asia Week New York

Toys & Childhood in 19th-Century America on view at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

Art startup joins the London accelerator scene

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