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CULTURE
Adad Hannah: Living Stills
by Mike Giles
on 06 August 2007
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Born in New York in 1971, artist Adad Hannah spent his formative years in London and Vancouver before settling in Montreal, where he currently lives and works. He has exhibited in Seoul, Madrid, Poland, Amsterdam, Cardiff and Basel to mention but a few. The past six years of his career have been focused on "tableaux vivants" or "living stills," a process involves posing models and then asking them to stand completely still while they are recorded on video for 5-10 minutes. The result is both captivating and mesmerizing as the model’s breathing or blinking illuminates the space between photography and video. If you want to read an essay by artist and writer Steve Reinke about Adad’s work click here.

In late 2006 the Vancouver Art Gallery Asked Adad to stage a live “tableaux vivant” as part of a curated performance art series called Fuse. Adad wanted to create a performance piece that did not point to himself as the artist, standing behind the camera and capturing the performance. In “Internal Logic: Camping” five sets of identical twins perform in a mirror-image tableaux vivant; A family of four camps, while twin artists record them on matching video cameras. Looking at the piece it appears as if a mirror bisects the room, but it's a simulacra; there is no original and in this case no copy either. The piece was performed twice on 23 February 2007, with the models posing as still as possible for just over 10 minutes on each occasion. Adad was nice enough to share this hidden link from his site with the readers of CH for viewing photographs of the live performance. For videos of his captivating work you can visit his site.

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