Danielle HakimStill Emerging
SEVENTH Gallery Workers Window
12 March – 6 April 2014

Still Emerging, presents Danielle Hakim’s video work, Emerging Artist, made over three years ago during the final year of her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. The decision to show the work in this space, specifically dedicated to exhibiting art by emerging artists, is motivated by the ongoing relevance of the discussion about what is an emerging artist, and how and when one transitions from ‘emerging’ to ‘established’.

Operating within the tradition of conceptual art, Hakim is interested in the art world functioning as a system of rules, practices and vernacular, which are often foreign to those outside the art world. Playing with language and humour, she stages small ‘experiments’ that investigate the processes of art making and the ways in which artists function within the framework of the art world. Many of Hakim’s works involve phrases and terms, understood by art world insiders, which she acts out literally, drawing attention to the often absurd nature of the language used, whilst also revealing the divide between art and non-art audiences. Paradoxically, Hakim operates as both insider and outsider, playfully poking fun at the art world structure, while simultaneously operating within it.

In Emerging Artist, Hakim picks up the often-used label ‘emerging artist’ and questions what the phrase would mean to someone not initiated in the art scene. The result is, quite literally, the artist ‘emerging’ from a pool of water. This work was made in response to the artist’s feelings of anxiety about the difficulty of sustaining a career in the arts after leaving the security of art school and having to face the reality of pursuing a career as an artist. The 10-second clip is looped so that we see the artist emerging again and again. In this way the work reveals a hint of self-deprecating vulnerability about what it means to ‘make it’ as an artist and the possibility that the artist will never fully ‘emerge’.

Still Emerging addresses the loaded nature of the term ‘emerging’, and the limitations inherent in using simplistic labels and frameworks; a practice many in the art world, and outside it, collude with, despite our best intentions. 

– Laura Couttie, 2014

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Image courtesy Danielle Hakim, 2014