Hussein Sharif, ‘Sitting Strike II’, 2017, Salwa Zeidan Gallery

62 pieces of painted iron wires

Series: Sitting Strike Series

Signature: Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist

Image rights: Artist and Salwa Zeidan Gallery

‘Sitting Strike’ is from a pair of works. The other, ‘Standing Strike’ (2002) is first both chronologically and narratively. In ‘Sitting Strike’, The figures have become fatigued over years of protest. The crude figures are formed from twisted, recycled iron wire, giving new purpose to a material that had been deprived of its original purpose.
Peaceful figures, seated in discussion as if a majlis, retain the formal harmony of their more decisive ‘Standing Strike’ brothers. It is a common, shared aesthetic that draws them together. This implies a shared cause and, significantly, it is one that we can collectively relate to. Sharif uses the cipher of the human form to demand empathy, rendering what was scrap into something relatable. In doing so, the artist appeals to the symbols shared by our collective consciousness- the human form, the concept of a ‘strike’ – to instill what was discarded with newly ascribed meanings. There is a transformative beauty in this meaning making; how signs and signifiers coalesce, regardless of how crude a sketch. The artist supplies material with new, invigorated purpose and we willingly engage with the altered state, seeing and feeling far more than what is truly before us, no more or less than discarded wire hangers from an artist’s laundry.

About Hussein Sharif

Emirati, b. 1961, Dubai - United Arab Emirates, based in Dubai - United Arab Emirates