Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme

Only the beloved keeps our secrets

Back to collections
Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Only the beloved keeps our secrets, 2016, single channel video and sound, 10 min 9 sec. Art Jameel Collection

Artwork Details


Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme


Only the beloved keeps our secrets




single channel video and sound


10:19 mins

Credit Line

Art Jameel Collection

Work Description

Only the beloved keeps our secrets, a single screen video and sound work, weaves together a fragmented script sampled from online recordings of everyday ritual and performance (through song and dance) and everyday erasures, alongside other material, ambiguous landscapes, growing plants in an abandoned development. Collected over the last five years, mostly from Palestine, moments from this material appear as moving layers with images building in density on top of each other, obscuring what came before in an  accumulation of constant testament and constant erasure. Retrieving, in this unfolding accumulation and dissipation of testament, certain moments that have passed us by as noise, what we can not turn to see and what we can not turn away from. Uncounted bodies counter their own erasures, appearing on a street, on a link, on a feed. Words from their songs are broken up and reformed. Maybe it is here between seeing and not seeing, between appearance and disappearance, that what could be retrieved from the wreck can be glimpsed.

Artist Biography

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. Their practice is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body and virtuality. Across their works they probe a contemporary landscape marked by seemingly perpetual crisis and an endless ‘present’, one that is shaped by a politics of desire and disaster. They have been developing a body of work that questions this suspension of the present and searches for ways in which an altogether different imaginary and language can emerge that is not bound within colonial/capitalist narrative and discourse. In their projects, they find themselves excavating, activating and inventing incidental narratives, figures, gestures and sites as material for re-imagining the possibilities of the present. Often reflecting on ideas of non-linearity in the form of returns, amnesia and deja vu, and in the process unfolding the slippages between actuality and projection (fiction, myth, wish), what is and what could be. Largely their approach has been one of sampling materials both existing and self-authored in the form of sound, image, text, objects and recasting them into altogether new ‘scripts’. The result is a practice that investigates the political, visceral, material possibilities of sound, image, text and site, taking on the form of multi-media installations and live sound/image performances.

Useful Links