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CHRISTINE HAJJAR

My work is to resurrect Goddess archetypes in new ways, to be experienced by a contemporary audience. The patriarchal urge to dominate and colonize may point to the ruin of our beautiful blue planet and humanity’s long cultural heritage, and so the, “Sacred Feminine,” which my work aims to embody, is presented as an earth-aligned, environmentally conscious alternative to ideas from the Father God lineage which include dominion over and the ruling of the natural world and certain populations. The hybrids I viscerally create emerge as an amalgamation of my research in the form of a figure and her shield. The shields are made from domestic items associated with the endless gracious giving and yielding expected from the feminine, table tops, baskets or trays, over which people may discuss matters and come to agreements. Instead of providing support, the object is suspended upright, awake, aware, a witness and seeing shield in service to its figure companion. In featuring a large eye, the (male) gaze is reversed, asking for accountability. The figure could be considered a spiritual embodiment of an Earth landscape no longer willing to, “give,” natural resources. The story of the Goddess’ erasure through colonization referenced by the figures in my work act as a reminder of what has been lost. Centralizing the feminine in my work offers a balance to the current cultural and political state in our world today.

As a Lebanese American, my first exposure to large scale paintings was in my Orthodox Church. The icons, incense, and chanting in Arabic fed my senses. Later, I cultivated a more critical view of this spirituality, and became interested in Indigenous and Pagan spiritualities centering female deities or archetypes.  I am creating Goddess inspired archetypal hybrids, sheroes with shields that see, which can be worn on the body in some cases, and through collaboration have reached into genres including sound, film, installation, and performance.

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