Rutgers University-Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries 2021- “Muriel Hasbun: Seismic Traces,” (curator: Tatiana Flores)

The Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce that renowned artist Muriel Hasbun, Professor Emerita of Photography at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at GWU, has been named the 2021-22 Estelle Lebowitz Endowed Visiting Artist at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The Lebowitz program annually brings to the University community and general public the work and ideas of exceptional women artists through solo exhibitions, lectures, and short campus residencies.

Born in El Salvador to a Salvadoran-Palestinian-Christian father and a French-Polish-Jewish mother, Muriel Hasbun addresses migration, displacement, and her unique family history throughout her work. Seismic Traces includes a selection of photographs from the series si je meurs / if I die (2015-16), and Santos y sombras / Saints and Shadows (1991-2004), which meditate on the artist’s life and that of her parents. Hasbun’s grandfather migrated from Palestine to El Salvador in the early 20th century, and her family formed part of an expatriate community seen as foreigners even after multiple generations. Her mother, Janine Janowski, was a French Jew whose family fled to Paris from Poland and during World War II, hid in the Auvergne region of France, until the end of the war. Many of her relatives died in the Holocaust and others migrated to Israel, where the family reunited almost half a century later. Janowski herself traveled to El Salvador as a young woman and there met and married Hasbun’s father. She opened a gallery—el laberinto—which was an important cultural space in San Salvador during the years of the Civil War (1980-1992), an armed conflict between a U.S.-backed military government and left-leaning guerillas. Hasbun’s most recent series, Pulse: New Cultural Registers / Pulso: Nuevos registros culturales (2020), engages with the gallery’s artists and the tumultuous context through research in the country’s seismographic record. In the finished pieces, the artist superimposes artworks from the gallery or her own photographs onto the graphs or features the records on their own, in images charged with political subtext.