In the summer of 2010, Adad Hannah traveled to Russia and began recording aspects of daily life there. The Russians captures a predominantly younger population shot in both urban and rural settings. Due to the difficulty of shooting in unfamiliar surroundings and operating in a foreign language, the subjects often unpredictably break character while attempting to follow the artist’s directions to remain still. Despite Hannah’s hands-on staging of each image, from posing and placing objects to selecting what people wore, the end result is less formal than previous artworks and suggests a more improvisational feel. Building on an aesthetic sensibility that encapsulates the documentary snapshots of Robert Frank, the staged imagery of Jeff Wall and 19th century tableaux vivants, Hannah’s work is a surprisingly poignant glimpse into contemporary Russian life.
Photography: Robert McNair
Adad Hannah (United States, 1971) spent his childhood in Israel and England, and moved to Vancouver in the early 1980s. His video and photography has recently been exhibited at the Samsung LEEUM Museum (Seoul 2011), Prague Biennial 5 (2011), Canadian Biennial (Ottawa 2011), Liverpool Biennial (2010), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2009). He has made commissions for the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Prado Museum (Madrid). His work has been funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, the B.C Arts Council, the Quebec Delegations and Canadian Embassies in Madrid, Seoul, and New York, and can is represented in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Art Gallery of Ontario, and other prominent museums around the globe. He lives and works between Montreal and Vancouver. Adad Hannah is represented by Pierre-FranÃ§ois Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal.