Qais Assali and David De Hannay: if you Like you can show my works in galleries

    Artist Qais Assali’s multi-year project if you Like you can show my works in galleries recently culminated in his first meeting with David De Hannay, an artist whose work Assali has circled semi-anonymously (and without De Hannay’s explicit knowledge) since 2017. This conversation connects Assali and De Hannay where Assali’s most recent video work, previously on view in In Practice: Total Disbelief, leaves off.

    In 2017, Assali received three DHL packages containing De Hannay’s unsolicited submission to the 2004 Art Chicago fair. The parcels contained De Hannay’s photographs, drawings, paintings, a video on VHS tape, and handwritten letters, and the artist described himself as an Iranian living in Afghanistan. These materials “found” their way to Assali via a former art fair administrator who presumed Assali, who is from Palestine, would have a regional sympathy for the plight of an Iranian artist. Contending with this assumption over the past years, Assali’s interrogation of De Hannay’s work and artistic position through his own video, painting, installation, and performance/lectures have underlined the stark difference between personal feelings of affinity between artists and reductive framing imposed from outside.

    For this conversation, artists Qais Assali and David De Hannay are joined by filmmaker Jose Luis Benavides. The conversation is moderated by Kyle Dancewicz, Director of Exhibitions and Programs, SculptureCenter.

    Qais Assali and David De Hannay: if you Like you can show my works in galleries is part of On Collaboration & Solidarity, a series of conversations, screenings, and table readings organized by Qais Assali across an array of arts organizations. Focusing on alliances across cultures, nationalities, and identities, this series unpacks notions of collaboration and solidarity with artists, curators, and activists. Delving into video art and installation works by Qais Assali and Jose Luis Benavides, the programs rethink loss in searching for land, art, limbs, and translation.