Hussein Nassereddine

A few decent ways to drown 3

Limestone, steel, carbon paper and sunlight
320 x 300 x 27 cm cm

“Time, which ravages fortresses and great cities, only enriches poetry.” Does water ever remain the same? Is it the same water of bygone ages and their eroded landmarks? The ancient poets in the Arabic literary canon often mused on water features and praised the intricacies of ornamental fountains. But time, which uproots even the greatest cities and kingdoms, weighs down on the descriptions carried by eloquent tongues before they are lost forever to history’s waters. What happens to all this water? Perhaps the act of drowning becomes a necessity for historicizing. A few decent ways to drown is an installation by artist Hussein Nassereddine that explores the fragile relationship between poetry, water, and time. It consists of three fountains whose surfaces are made up of papers that once belonged to collectors and editors of poetic manuscripts, retaining their notes and observations. Abandoned by history, they remain folded and forgotten in poetry books. The passage of time has left them withering, their colours changed, while they seek desperately to escape the deathly touch of water. Nassereddine drew inspiration from the existing archaeological structures and layout of Deir El Kalaa to inform the shapes and positioning of his limestone fountains, created with stonemason Marwan Bou Ghanem. Nassereddine’s vision for this garden of water echoes the descriptions of fountains of ancient palaces.


This item will be delivered after the exhibition is over
About the Artist

Hussein Nassereddine (b. 1993) lives and works in Beirut. His work in installation, performance, video and writing originates from a practice around language that builds fragile monuments – some verbal, some sonic, some tactile – rooted in collective histories and resources of poetry, ruins, construction, and image-making. Nassereddine was a fellow in Ashkal Alwan’s Home Workspace program in 2018. In 2020, he published How to see the columns as palm trees, the seventh book in the Kayfa-ta series.

More works by Hussein Nassereddine