Site Specific Art

Rania Hassan



Rania Hassan
Liminality, 2020
Suspended installation: Silk, linen, bamboo, copper, and stainless steel threads
approx. 312 x 156 x 76 in.

Courtesy of the artist

Liminality highlights the tension of betwixt and between moments, known and unknown. Standing at a threshold, this piece offers a stage of reflection and a space representing now.

The installation is a tracing of the staircase in intervals that align with the architecture. I started with models and sketches to understand the repetitive forms in the space. The connection points converge to a central form that takes the shape of a flat disc that is cut on one side and twists in opposite directions. At the ground level landing, the shape flips, creating a reflection. This led me to think about how we see trees above ground, with their unseen roots mirroring our experience of the visible world—as above, so below. The whole form creates an organism with the center representing a nucleus. The pauses between the connection points on the staircase mimic the gaps in our own existence: we are continually flickering in and out.

The web connects us to others, an exchange of energies in this shared liminal space. Moving upwards or downwards, the path is always moving us in forward journeys. It’s about things seen and unseen, where an unknown world becomes familiar by looking.

Rania Hassan creates site-specific installations that weave sculptural stories about our connections to time, place, and circumstance. The five main themes she works with embody ideas of community, synchronicity, identity, time, and memory. Her work ranges in scale from walls of 3 x 4 inch drawings, to 40 x 40 x 40 foot suspended installations, such as the one created for the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building in 2019. Rania’s artwork is included in the permanent collections of the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD), Amazon Web Services (Herndon, VA), and the District of Columbia’s Art Bank Collection (Washington, DC). In 2009, she received a Craft Award of Excellence from the James Renwick Alliance and has been awarded multiple Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program Grant Awards from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.


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