Artist’s Rooms : Lawrence Abu Hamdan

This Whole Time There Were No Landmines

This exhibition features the video and sound installation This Whole Time There Were No Landmines (2017). Made from mobile phone footage and audio recordings found in 2011, the work documents a ‘shouting valley’ that lies in the contested area of the Golan Heights, Syria. This stretch of land became annexed by Israel from Syria following a ceasefire in 1967 and is named ‘the shouting valley’, as the areas topography allows for an acoustic leak across the border. Subsequently, separated families have gathered on either side of the border in order to shout across the divide to each other and remain in contact.

Drawn largely from the Art Jameel Collection, Artist’s Rooms is a series of solo exhibitions by influential, innovative artists, with particular focus on practitioners from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. These capsule shows are collaborative and curated in dialogue with the artist. Summer 2020 features rooms by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Taysir Batniji and Larissa Sansour in galleries 1, 2 and 3.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (born 1985, Amman) is a ‘Private Ear’. His interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music. The artist’s audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International together with fellow researchers from Forensic Architecture. Abu Hamdan received his PhD in 2017 from Goldsmiths College, London and he is currently a fellow at the University of Chicago.

Abu Hamdan was the co-winner of the 2019 Turner Prize. In 2017, his film Rubber Coated Steel won the Tiger short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival, the audience award at 25 FPS Festival in Zagreb, and the Dialog Award at European Media Art festival in Osnabruk. In 2016, he won the Nam June Paik Award for new media. His solo presentations have taken place at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2020); Witte De With, Rotterdam (2019); Tate Modern Tanks & Chisenhale Gallery, London (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); Kunsthalle St Gallen (2015) Beirut in Cairo (2013); The Showroom, London (2012) and Casco, Utrecht (2012). His works are part of collections at MoMA, Guggenheim, Van AbbeMuseum, Centre Pompidou and Tate Modern.