press release

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

12.06.2020 - 03.01.2021

This whole time there were no land mines

Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s sound and video installation, This whole time there were no land mines (2017) documents a ‘shouting valley’ that lies in the contested area of the Golan Heights, Syria. This stretch of land was annexed by Israel from Syria following a ceasefire in 1967 and was named ‘the shouting valley’, as the area’s 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. Made from found mobile phone footage and audio recordings, the work depicts an incident that took place in 2011 when, for the first time since 1967, the border was breached, and 150 Palestinians protesters from Syria broke into Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

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. About Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b.1985, Amman, Jordan) 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 from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2017 and is currently a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. Abu Hamdan has exhibited his work at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019); 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); 13th and 14th Sharjah Biennial (2017 and 2019); Witte De With, Rotterdam (2019); Tate Modern Tanks, London (2018); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2018); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); The Showroom, London (2012); and Casco, Utrecht (2012). His works are part of collections at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London. Abu Hamdan’s work has been awarded the 2019 Edvard Munch Art Award, the 2016 Nam June Paik Award for new media and in 2017 his film Rubber Coated Steel won the Tiger Short Film award at the International Film Festival, Rotterdam. For the 2019 Turner Prize Abu Hamdan, together with nominated artists Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani, formed a temporary collective in order to be jointly granted the award.

Each Artist’s Room is accompanied by a monograph, published by Art Jameel and available from the Art Jameel Shop.