Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre

Chisenhale Gallery, London, United Kingdom
21 Sep 2018 - 09 Dec 2018

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 3 Whispers (detail), (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 3 Whispers (detail), (2017). Courtesy of the artist.

Chisenhale Gallery presents a major new co-commission by Beirut-based artist and ‘private ear’, Lawrence Abu Hamdan. Earwitness Theatre develops Abu Hamdan’s enquiry into the political effects of listening, presenting two installations that capture the psychological, bodily, spatial and sometimes hallucinatory world of the earwitness.

Abu Hamdan’s exhibition is commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery in partnership with: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; and it will be represented at the partner venues throughout 2019.

Working with sound, installation, performance, text, video and graphic works, Abu Hamdan’s work examines the contemporary politics of listening. Often building on audio analysis that Abu Hamdan has made for legal investigations and advocacy for humanitarian organisations, his work is acutely attentive to sound. Proposing new strategies for listening, Abu Hamdan’s work questions the ways in which rights are being heard and the way voices can become politically audible.

Abu Hamdan’s exhibition continues Chisenhale Gallery’s programme for 2018, which includes major new commissions by artists Lydia Ourahmane, Paul Maheke and Banu Cennetoğlu. Through his work, Abu Hamdan raises questions concerning how history is constructed in order to examine the production, distribution and consumption of knowledge, themes that recur throughout Chisenhale Gallery’s programme for 2018. As part of the commissioning process, discursive events are programmed in collaboration with each artist, and contribute to the organisation’s Engagement Programme of public talks and events held at the gallery. Abu Hamdan will also present his expanded video installation Walled Unwalled (2018) and site-specific performance After SFX (2018) at Tate Modern, London from 1 October to 7 October 2018 (performance on 4 October). The sounds, voices and texts that comprise the performance are derived from Earwitness Inventory, giving audiences the opportunity to see the project in its entirety across the two galleries.

Opening: Thursday 20 September, 6.30–8.30pm
Earwitness Theatre