Artists under Lockdown / Pascal Hachem & Rana Haddad
Two Lebanese designers seize the opportunity to reflect.
The Design Edit (TDE): How are you keeping busy in self-isolation?
Rana Haddad and Pascal Hachem (RH & PH): This is such an unforgettable moment. It’s shaken us rather positively. Suddenly we have time for self-observation and to reflect on things around us. Time to admire and see the potential in every object, plant, sunset and sound. We now run in slow-motion mode, a much-needed setting – especially after the non-stop mode the world has previously been on.
We could see it coming … we always said that something needs to change. What we did not account for is the shutting down of the whole system. It really feels like nature got to a stage of overfill due to the actions and lack of respect of humans. It feels that this is the time where Nature gets to have her say and where humans will need to be part of Nature – not above it.
We are choosing to resist social media, by shutting down the internet and limiting it to a specific time of day. And as we don’t have a TV, outside invasion cannot reach our homes. Resisting social media and trying to avoid being connected is essential to give meaning to time, time that we could not grasp anymore as we were always on the run due to being part of a globalised system.
The mere idea of keeping busy is equivalent to avoiding time and avoiding the reflective moments. But these moments are indispensable: they are a vast playground of creativity. These moments give us the chance to act, adapt, play lightly or play seriously.
TDE: Everyone’s pace of life has slowed down considerably; what is the impact of this new rhythm on your work and home life?
RH & PH: Let’s call it “the new life pattern” by overlapping work life and home life into one space that has no doors, no walls, no ceiling, no floor – yet with one floating window that frames all the new possibilities … Thinking differently doesn’t mean thinking slowly. What we are dreading is that we might all soon forget this journey, as humans have a very short memory. We do not wish for real life to flow again as it used to be!
TDE: Do you have a favourite self-isolation recipe to share with us?
RH & PH: Kill your TV. Kill Netflix. Kill Wifi if you can and when you can. First you need to accept killing your TV, then you will definitely end up killing your Wifi connection.
TDE: What is saving your sanity under lockdown?
RH & PH: Pausing is our sanity. Movement in stillness.
TDE: Which online exhibition/gallery viewing room, or other internet offerings have caught your eye?
RH & PH: The whole point is to live in the real world and to forget about virtual life,
to slow down the pace, to appreciate the moment by giving more room to thoughts and to non-thoughts. If it wasn’t for the Beirut revolution … which is the only online movement that we are following (the events of our ongoing Revolution that started in Beirut on the 17th of October 2019). This lockdown is playing against the Revolution and allowing the corrupted government to exploit the moment … a real setback. This revolution is so needed, and its flame should not be blown out.
200Grs. – deals with notions of scale and genuineness in order to produce unique pieces serving a multitude of miscellaneous functions.