artist / participant
Rana Hamadeh. The Ten Murders of Josephine
Exhibition at Witte de With (8 September – 31 December 2017)
followed by an Opera premiering at Theater Rotterdam – Rotterdamse Schouwburg (14-15 December, 2017)
The Ten Murders of Josephine is a long-term project by artist Rana Hamadeh structured through several evolving iterations. These iterations over-write and trouble one another, proposing a particular dramaturgy of processes that commence with an exhibition at Witte de With (8 September – 31 December 2017), followed by an Opera premiering at Theater Rotterdam – Rotterdamse Schouwburg (14-15 December, 2017), and ending with a publication and a film.
Inherited from the genre of legal spectacle and from Hamadeh's earlier claims viewing "justice as the measure to which one can access theatre", The Ten Murders of Josephine explores the workings of testimonial utterance as a means to rethink legal subject hood and to disrupt with that the centrality of citizenship. Drawing loosely on Kafka’s Mouse-songstress Josephine, the project poses the question: what would it mean to emerge as a ‘testimonial subject’, not only outside the bounds of the court of law, but even more so, in place of the legal subject?
The exhibition is an immersive auditory experience that is conceived as both the spatial realization of Hamadeh’s libretto, and the ‘assembly line’ for the theatrical work that follows. Operatic in both scale and form, the project comes at a pivotal moment in Rotterdam based Hamadeh’s diverse and urgent practice, coalescing multiple strands of theoretical research in the largest project in her career to date; one that genuinely engenders new modalities of readership and spectatorship, and tests performative dynamics of exhibition making.
Director: Defne Ayas
Curators: Natasha Hoare, Samuel Saelemakers, Patrick C. Haas (Associate Curator), Rosa de Graaf (Assistant Curator)
The Ten Murders of Josephine is commissioned by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. Co-commissioned by MacM, Ming Contemporary Art MuseuM, Shanghai. Co-produced by A.P.E (Art Projects Era) and Productiehuis Theater Rotterdam. Production support by Lafayette Anticipations - Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette and In4Art Collection. Supported by Fonds 21, City of Rotterdam, Mondriaan Fund and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.