/Noss Noss (2017)

VOGUE Living Australia - - In View -

Has­san Hajjaj wears many hats. Liv­ing be­tween Lon­don and Mar­rakech, he is an artist, pho­tog­ra­pher, de­signer, per­former and film­maker. His in­stal­la­tion for the NGV Tri­en­nial has mor­phed and changed since the 2000s, when it was known as Le Salon. At the Tri­en­nial, it’s called Noss Noss — named af­ter a pop­u­lar Moroc­can drink made of half-cof­fee, half-milk — and it fea­tures works such as the vi­brant Dono­van Stylin’. “I’m tak­ing over the whole cafe,” says Hajjaj. In­cor­po­rat­ing such kitsch el­e­ments as camel road signs for wall­pa­per, im­agery of fez-be­decked Moroc­can men and street el­e­ments like crate seat­ing, it plays on the de­sign of a Moroc­can-style salon, says the artist. Hajjaj has cu­rated a playlist of mu­sic, old and new, to ac­com­pany the piece, and the chef of the NGV’s Gallery Kitchen has even come up with a Moroc­can menu. “It’s re­ally about the senses,” says Hajjaj. “You come to see it, feel it, smell it, taste it and hear it.” Em­pha­sis­ing the Arab tra­di­tion of gen­eros­ity, Noss Noss is a work that is both re­fresh­ing and cru­cial in a cli­mate where so much wrongly di­rected fear is as­so­ci­ated with the Mus­lim world. But Hajjaj in­sists that this work is not po­lit­i­cal. “I am pre­sent­ing my cul­ture — some­thing pos­i­tive that doesn’t go to that side of pol­i­tics or re­li­gion,” he says. “It’s about peo­ple get­ting to­gether, shar­ing the mo­ment, dis­cov­er­ing some­thing new and mak­ing peo­ple feel com­fort­able.”

left: Has­san Hajjaj has been called the ‘Andy Warhol of Mar­rakech’.

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