March 19 to April 17, 2021

PLATFORM Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts

Solo exhibition awarded through the 2020 PLATFORM Photography Award

Photos by Tayler Buss

Don’t Forget to Count Your Blessings is an installation inspired by hookah lounges, which incorporates photography, film, and wallpaper. It complicates an Arab diasporic experience by unpacking quotidian objects and language through methods of repetition, recontextualization, and glitch. The photographs in this work signal to the ways in which hookah lounges and restaurants often feature romantic landscape images of homeland. Since Hajjar has never been to Lebanon, the photographs only feature a figure—the artist’s sister—among a backdrop of blue sky, performing improvisational gestures with a plastic tablecloth. The TV in the exhibition remediates the spectacle of lavish culture often represented through music videos emanating from restaurant TVs, and engages the tablecloth once again to evoke questions on luxury, ritual, and translatability. Together, these elements work to ground diasporic longing and nourishment through mimetic gestures, which are at once solid and fleeting.

Hajjar thanks PLATFORM, Canada Council for the Arts, and Manitoba Arts Council for their generous support of this exhibition.