Studio Visit with ZAC HACMON

© Photography by Alex Nuñez for Zephyr and Maize

Varia Serova: Let’s think about your studio time: the environment and the process. What are some of the important aspects of your studio practice?

Zac Hacmon: For the past two years my studio has been part of the LMCC Workspace Residency Program, located at the Financial District on the 12th floor of an office building. This residency is very unusual mainly for its location, basically my studio is neighboring lawyer firms and financial corporations, and personally, I can't think of a better place to operate from. It is not ideal in terms of the size of the fabrication space, but it is ideal in terms of living within your subject matter, the work can not be detached. Before moving to NYC, my work encompassed themes of conflict and identity affected by the political sphere I was born into. As I relocated to Manhattan in early 2015 to pursue an MFA at Hunter College, I wanted to explore the architecture that surrounded me, and I incorporated the notion of a Non-Place into my work, a type of architecture that has neither history nor identity, and funny enough my studio is located at such a Non-Place.

VS: How is your creative process staged/structured? What constitutes construction/deconstruction elements?

ZH: Rather than working on a singular sculpture or object, I usually develop projects that expand over years. I am very interested in the in-between spaces, mainly those that fall in between jurisdictions or cultures. This idea reflects on the notion of ownership or private property, and I try to cultivate the meaning of dis-ownership and dis-property. I often begin with research, mainly based on philosophical texts, I find philosophy more practical in analyzing systems and human behaviour. Philosophy uses text as a tool to develop or deconstruct ideas, and I use my medium to transform those principles into matter and form.

VS: What new roles do form, space and order assume in your redefinition of architecture as the tool for division or as a measure to generate identity?

ZH: Unlike the Minimalist Movement idea of pure forms, in my work I try to contextualize forms in relation to current socio-political conflicts and political structures. Just recently I explored the new Blockchain technology idea which people refer to as the next generation of the internet, and I was wondering if any of its principles can be applied to our contemporary art sphere. At the moment art is subjected to governmental and national agendas, limited to its intellectual and physical borders. Following the principles of this new technology, we need to ask if art can be decentralized and proliferated without dependence on one institution or another, and be called Decentralized Art.

VS: What are you working on right now?

ZH: During the Covid-19 lockdown in NYC, when all the art institutions were closed, and I was ‘locked’ in my room, I started to think if there is any way to still be active as an artist beyond the studio space and white cube boundaries, so initiated a collaboration with a local shelter for asylum seekers that is based in Harlem, New York. Currently this project is still in its fundraising stage, and I'm excited to be working on it in the coming year.

Zac Hacmon (b.1981 Holon, Israel) is a New York-based artist born in Holon, Israel. Hacmon is a sculptor and installation artist who explores socio-political conflicts through architecture. Hacmon investigating the use of architecture as a tool for division or as a measure to generate identity. With acts of construction and deconstruction, Hacmon creates objects and fictional environments that allow him to question social conventions and to form a new type of architecture, a non-declared one, with a call for use and yet no clear function. Hacmon has recently exhibited at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Jack Shainman Gallery, Smack Mellon, Petach Tikva Museum of Art (Israel), Meet Factory Gallery (Czech Republic), and Artsonje Center (South Korea), Haifa Museum (Israel), Cathouse Proper Gallery, the Border Gallery, Slag Gallery, LMAKgallery, SPRING/BREAK Art Show. Hacmon received an MFA from Hunter College 2018 and a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art 2012 (Israel). Hacmon has had residencies at the Fountainhead Miami 2020, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace program (LMCC) 2019 and Salem Art Works (NY) 2017, MeetFactory Studio (Czech Republic) 2015, and MMCA National Art Studio in Seoul (South Korea) 2014. Hacmon received the 2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Craft/Sculpture, the FCA Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant 2020, the Santo Foundation Individual Artist Award 2019, the Cafe Royal Cultural Foundation Visual Project Exhibition Grant 2019, Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist in New York Grant Nominee 2018. Publications include: The Brooklyn Rail, More Time Less, Sophia Ma, January 2021 Foundwork, Interview with Artist Zac Hacmon, Isabel Flower, October 2020 ARTFUSE, Interview with Artist Zac Hacmon, Eva Mayhabal Davis, March 2020 Arcade Project, Zac Hacmon at The Border, Roman Kalinovski, March 2020 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow, Thames & Hudson, Kurt Beers, September 2019

Together, 2021.

© Zac Hacmon for Zephyr and Maize

Beyond the Pale, 2020.

54 x 65 x 70 ins. © Photography by Etienne Frossard for Zephyr and Maize

UNBORN, 2019. 20 x 20 x 46 ins. to 72 x 84 x 20 ins. © Photography by Etienne Frossard for Zephyr and Maize

Capsule5, 2020. 84 x 90 x 45 ins. © Photography by Etienne Frossard for Zephyr and Maize

Blaze, 2019. 22 x 22.5 x 26 ins. © Zac Hacmon for Zephyr and Maize

Leap, 2019. 63 x 26 x 5 ins. © Zac Hacmon for Zephyr and Maize