Codes of Hermes
Codes of Hermes is a personal diary in ten mystical chapters.
Khaled Hafez proposes a series of mixed media paintings, installation and video works, coded with personal experience that continuously explore notions of identity, the intimate, migration and the struggle of wealth and power, all visually coded in pictographs, ideograms and –at times– deja-vu banal symbols from the consumer goods culture. The project Codes of Hermes is inspired from the merged concepts of the ancient Greek snake God Hermes and the Egyptian wisdom God Thoth.
Some ancient cultures made Hermes the god of nature, farmers, and shepherds with shamanic attributes linked to divination, reconciliation, magic, sacrifices, experience-initiation and contact with other planes of existence, a role of mediator between the worlds of the visible and invisible. Hafez draws on the physical attributes of the god to express hybridized cultures of today’s globalization; Hermes was the teacher of all secret wisdoms available to knowing by the experience of religious ecstasy, and due to his constant mobility, Hermes was considered the god of commerce and social intercourse, the wealth brought in business, travel, roads and crossroads, borders and boundary conditions, agreements and contracts, friendship, hospitality, sexuality –represented for over a decade in Hafez’s paintings by the symbol of the tulip–, and playfulness.
Playfulness and irony play a major role in the visual language of Hafez across all the mediums he uses to express; Hafez believes that both artist and viewer must enter a game of coded pleasures while living with the artwork.