– A Politics of Listening in 4 Acts
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Edited by Fabian Schöneich.
Contributions by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Emily Apter, Giovanni Carmine
, Omar Kholeif, Fabian Schöneich.
design: David Bennewith, Colophon.
Published with Kunsthalle St. Gallen and Portikus
, Frankfurt am Main.
published in November 2016
10,6 x 16 cm (softcover)
68 pages (4 color ill. & 6 b/w ill.)
Monographic study on the work of artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan on the perception of language
, and listening.
A “politics of listening” is an intervention into and a reorganization of forms that listening takes rather than a call for free speech or for a platform for voices to be heard. Listening is a political act, a pedagogical process, and an activity that can lead to the development of an organized protocol for engagement.
In his art and research, Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan explores the perception of language, sound, and listening. National identity, human rights, and the administration of justice are recurrent themes in his work. The techniques used in his audio-aesthetic practice have been used to conduct forensic audio analysis for several legal investigations. This monograph includes a series of transcripts of live speech from sermons, monologues, testimonies, and interviews made over the course of the last five years.
Published following the exhibition “Earshot,” Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, from February 13 to April 10, 2016.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (born 1985 in Amman, Jordan, lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon
) is an artist and “private ear” whose 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 with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background in DIY music. In 2013 Abu Hamdan's audio documentary The Freedom of Speech Itself
was submitted as evidence at the UK asylum tribunal where the artist himself was called to testify as an expert witness. He continues to make sonic analyses for legal investigations and advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International—and was prominently part the No More Forgotten Lives campaign for Defence for Children International. The artist's forensic audio investigations are conducted as part of his research for Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College London where he is also a PhD candidate. His solo exhibitions include “Earshot” at Portikus, Frankfurt (2016), “تقي” (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, “The Whole Truth” (2012) at Casco, Utrecht. Additionally his works have been exhibited and performed at venues such as The Shanghai Biennial (2014), The Whitechapel Gallery London, MACBA Barcelona, Tate Modern London, M HKA Antwerp, the Beirut Art Center and The Taipei Biennial (2012). Abu Hamdan's writing can be found in Forensis
, Manifesta Journal
and Cabinet Magazine
. His works are part of collections at MoMA New York, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and the Arts Council, England.