Informed by the past, yet jarringly present: Diana Al-Hadid’s first solo show in the Middle East
Known for her tower-like sculptures and drippy gypsum panels, Diana Al-Hadid has made a name for herself as a Renaissance-inspired sculpture artist. Her work reads like hypertext, linking various cultural histories and geography. Despite having been raised in the American Midwest, she was born in her family’s native Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Her work recalls ancient civilisations, as if lamenting their extinction. That is not, however, to assume that Al-Hadid’s work is planted in her Syrian heritage; on the contrary, she rejects the postmodern tradition of operation on, as Nicholas Bourriaud explains, ‘a logic of membership’, whereby artists are classified according to their ethnicity and/or culture. She is as much an American artist as she is a Syrian one.