Sayed Sattar Hasan, Hasansen's bench (2020). Photo: Jon Gorospe

Hasansen's bench

Sayed Sattar Hasan

Sayed Sattar Hasan, through his alter ego Hasansen, shows new works that explore traditional techniques and multicultural references.

Exhibition period: 22.10.2020 – 21.02.2021
Oslo S (at the descent to the metro)

Sayed Sattar Hasan has made a new work, «Hasansen's bench», for the video screen of Rom for kunst, at the descent to the metro station inside Oslo Central Station. The project consists of a bench and a video. The bench draws inspiration from the charpai, a Pakistani divan, with its shapely legs and woven seat. The name Hasansen is woven into the seat, time and time again, a nod to both branding and graffiti, in the form of traditional weaving technique. Above the bench is a video that plays on Hasansen as a brand identity, and the famous photograph of Norwegian explorer Fridjof Nansen (1861-1930) posing naked, reclining on a bed.

The project can be seen as a continuation of Hasan's ongoing investigation of tradition, cultural heritage and belonging. With Hasansen as a kind of appropriation of a well-known Norwegian hero figure, the work shakes the idea of national identity. The branding of the alter ego's hybrid identity is a step further in the artist's practice, which he defines as post-pop conceptual craft. With a look at folk art that both explores and defies national borders, a connection is opened at to Ellen Grieg's colorful works that are displayed on the façade of the Airport Express Terminal at the other end of the station building.

Sayed Sattar Hasan (b. 1979) is an artist who through various media investigates topics related to identity and belonging. He himself defines himself as "half Pakistani, a quarter English, Irish by proxy and completely Norwegian". Hasan has recently developed his alter ego Hasansen, a Pakistani-British appropriation of the Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen. With this alter ego, he has immersed himself in traditional Norwegian and Pakistani craft techniques, including the hybrid object "Hasansen's sledge" which is exhibited at the Intercultural Museum in Oslo.

Sayed Sattar Hasan, Hasansen's bench, 2020. Photo: Jon Gorospe