Muriel Hasbun: Tracing Terruño is the first survey in New York City of the career of multidisciplinary artist Muriel Hasbun. The photography exhibition celebrates Hasbun’s dedication to exploring identity and memory, using her personal story to examine collective histories through photography, video, and installation from the late 1980s to the present. A descendent of Salvadoran and Palestinian Christians on her paternal side and Polish and French Jews on her maternal side, Hasbun grew up in El Salvador. Reckoning with a family history filled with exile, loss, and migration, Hasbun herself had to leave her home country in 1979 at the start of the Salvadoran Civil War. She moved to France and then the United States to study, settling in Washington, DC, where she has since worked as an artist and professor of photography.
Tracing Terruño presents a selection of Muriel Hasbun’s series, from her earliest photographic explorations in 1988 to recent photographic experiments with chemigrams and expired photographic papers. The exhibition will include Santos y sombras / Saints and Shadows (1990–97), a series in which Hasbun layers negatives of archival family documents and new images to create photographs that collapse receding memories with their impact on the present. In the series X post facto (équis anónimo) (2009–13), Muriel Hasbun re-presents a selection of X-rays from her father’s dental practice, decontextualizing medical records and turning the images into landscapes and abstractions, thereby unlocking their metaphoric potential. Selections from her most recent series, Pulse: New Cultural Registers / Pulso: Nuevos registros culturales (2020–ongoing), maps El Salvador by combining art history with seismic records.