Adad Hannah, artist based in Vancouver, Canada. Photography © Courtesy of Adad Hannah
1.In your opinion what is the role of a museum?
I like it when a museum pushes the boundaries of what is expected of it. When their programming is surprising and even bizarre but makes sense as you wander through the exhibition rooms. When they are willing to learn and grow along with their audience.
2.What are your favorite museums in the world? Why?
The Prado in Madrid is a favourite because I produced a body of work within the museum and because it is actually not such a large museum but has such a mind-blowing collection.
I also like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, from the Temple of Dendur to the contemporary projects they are hosting in their hallowed halls and on their roof.
3.In particular, due to the coronavirus emergency, how have you changed your business on social networks?
I started a new project called Social Distancing Portraits on March 14th just as the lockdown was starting, and it has kept me very busy. I’m approaching people from a distance and asking them if they will stand still for me for 30-seconds for a video recorded portrait.
I have had exhibitions come in through social media and been asked to do small projects for several online entities. It’s good, it has kept me out of trouble during this difficult time for all. The project is being put up on Instagram daily at @adadhannah.
4.To create greater engagement among museums, artists and professionals, do you have any advice for cultural projects such as #MuseumWeek?
In this unprecedented time (at least recently) I don’t have any advice except to keep busy, try new things, take risks, and know that life will go on even if it may never be exactly the same – which may actually be a good thing!
Interview by Fabio Pariante, journalist
Adad Hannah (New York, 1971) is a Canadian/British/American visual artist. He spent his childhood in Israel and England, and then moved toVancouver, Canada in the 1980s. Hannah’s artistic production is focused on the spaces where performance, photography, and video intersect with the human body.
In March 2020 he launched the Social Distancing Portraits project, in which he captures the uncertainty of our time through a series of video-recorded tableaux vivants. Each video looks like a photograph but is in fact a video exposing the inner restlessness and an emotional strength living within us.
This project has become an important (and still growing) document of this historical coronavirus pandemic. The artist has exhibited worldwide, with exhibitions and commissions on six continents and is featured in the collections of museums around the world. Adad Hannah lives and works in Vancouver and is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain, Montreal, and Equinox Gallery, Vancouver.