Artist seeks volunteers for tableau vivant about Richmond

Adad Hannah is re-imagining Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron using stories from Richmond.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be immortalized in a piece of art, perhaps exhibited at museums for generations to come?

Well, you might have your chance.

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Artist Adad Hannah is seeking volunteers for a new project that’s re-imagining Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron using stories about Richmond.

The 14th Century Italian author’s work is a collection of 100 stories. Rather than re-create those stories, Hannah said he’ll use the Decameron’s structure populated with 100 stories about Richmond.

Blackwater Ophelia
This image is from Hannah's Blackwater Ophelia project. Photo: Courtesy of Adad Hannah

The format he’ll use is tableaux vivants, or living pictures. Typically, he places using models in life-sized scenes to re-create a historic moment or piece of art. Everyone takes their places frozen in their period attire, and Hannah records video.

“As a viewer you’re caught watching … waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to move … You’re mixed between anticipation and frustration, trying to understand the image,” he told the Richmond News.

Hannah splits his time between living in Montreal and Vancouver, and has had his work exhibited all over the world. On its website, the Richmond Art Gallery encourages people to get involved with such a high-calibre project.

“This is a rare opportunity to work with an artist of Hannah’s experience and to see what goes on behind the scenes of the art making process,” the gallery’s website reads.

Hannah is looking for people to share stories, to model, and to help behind the camera setting up scenes. Work begins in January at the Richmond Art Gallery, and the exhibit opens Feb. 9.

If you’re interested in volunteering, email To see some of Hannah’s previous work, head over to his website

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