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Don’t Forget to Count Your Blessings

Christina Hajjar
April 9 – May 21 | 2022
Opening Reception: April 9 | 7 – 9 pm
Artist talk: May 12 | 7 pm

Don’t Forget to Count Your Blessings is inspired by hookah lounges. The installation 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 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 video work 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. These elements work together to ground diasporic longing and nourishment through mimetic gestures, which are at once solid and fleeting.

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

Christina Hajjar is a Lebanese artist, writer, and cultural worker based in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Treaty 1 Territory. Her practice considers intergenerational inheritance, domesticity, and place through diaspora, body archives, and cultural iconography. As a queer femme and first-generation subject, she is invested in the poetics of process, translation, and collaborative labour. Hajjar is the co-founder of Carnation Zine and creator of Diaspora Daughter, Diaspora Dyke zine. She was a recipient of the 2020 PLATFORM Photography Award and received an honourable mention for the 2021 Emerging Digital Artists Award. Her film, Don’t Forget the Water, won the Jury Award and the Audience Choice Award for Best Manitoba Short Film at Gimli Film Festival.