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 musiciansHajjajs 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 Hajjajs 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 Hajjajs (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 UKs 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 identitywhether African, Arab, or Europeanare 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.