Martin Herbert’s pick of exhibitions to see this October

12 October 2017

© Copyright 2017 ArtReview. Martin Herbert

Pascal Hachem, The Mosaic Rooms, London, through 2 December

Pascal Hachem’s show at The Mosaic Rooms, the nonprofit showcase (in London’s Kensington) for art from the Arab world, comes wrapped in what might seem at first blush like a glib, paradoxical, even non-title, The show has a long title that I don’t recall anymore. But there’s a pointed intent: the Lebanese artist wants to get at how the past can be held onto in his hometown of Beirut, which has frequently been a city of fragmentation and change. Via a series of mechanised, readymade-based installations, Hachem – who’s in his late thirties and has also founded a design studio, 200grs – appears to be brusquely poeticising that condition. Trousers are suspended above mirrors, a stone where one foot should be, the weighted clothing striking the glass at intervals until it breaks. Elsewhere, wire brushes scrape the wall, revealing earlier layers of paint, and two irons tirelessly flatten a pile of flour, creating a fragile evenness – all of which, the organisers reckon, ‘hints at the impossibility of grasping meaning in the face of successive events’.