Bird Watching

    15/05  | 20:00
    16/05  | 20:00

€ 14 / € 10

Meet the artist after the film screening on 16/05

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a contemporary artist from Jordan who is currently based in Beirut. His work is concerned with the relationship between listening, politics, human rights, testimony and truth. Bird Watching is the latest in a series of Abu Hamdan’s live audio essays that examine the contemporary politics of listening and the importance of the ear witness. The central focus of this ‘hearing’ is his collaboration with Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture on an acoustic investigation into Saydnaya prison, 25 km north of Damascus. The prison is inaccessible to independent observers and monitors. The memory of those who survive it is the only resource available from which to learn of and document the violations still taking place there. The capacity of detainees to see anything in Saydnaya was highly restricted as they were mostly kept in darkness, blindfolded. As a result, the prisoners developed an acute sensitivity to sound. Through dedicated and new techniques of ear witness interviews created by Abu Hamdan, the witnesses reconstruct the architecture and events of the prison they experienced through sound.

EXTRA: Screening of Rubber Coated Steel (2016) by Lawrence Abu Hamdan
16/05 – 21:00 (after the performance)
Free with performance ticket

Script & performance by
Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, BOZAR

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Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b. 1985) is an artist, ‘private ear’ and fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School, New York. His projects have taken the form of audiovisual installations, performances, graphic works, photography, Islamic sermons, cassette tape compositions, potato chip packets, essays and lectures. Abu Hamdan’s interest in sound and its intersection with politics originates from his background in DIY music. He has made sonic analyses for legal investigations at the UK Asylum Tribunal and advocacy work for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International. The artist’s forensic audio investigations are conducted as part of his research in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College London where he is also a PhD candidate. Abu Hamdan’s Rubber Coated Steel (2016) won the short film award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2017 and his exhibition Earshot at Portikus Frankfurt (2016) was the recipient of the Nam June Paik Award. His other solo exhibitions include تقيه (taqiyya) at Kunsthalle St Gallen (2015), Tape Echo (2013) at Beirut in Cairo and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Freedom Of Speech Itself (2012) at Showroom, London, and The Whole Truth (2012) at Casco, Utrecht. Abu Hamdan’s writing can be found in Forensis (Sternberg Press), Manifesta Journal and Cabinet Magazine. His works are featured in collections at MoMA New York, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, Centre Pompidou Paris and the Arts Council, England.

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