Photo courtesy of artists
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983) work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. Their practice, largely research based, 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. 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. 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 multimedia installations and live sound/image performances.
Solo presentations include Kunstverein Hamburg (Hamburg), Krannert Art Museum (Illinois), Alt Bomonti (Istanbul), ICA (Philadelphia), Office for Contemporary Art (Oslo), Carroll/Fletcher (London), Akademie Der Kuenste Der Welt (Cologne), New Art Exchange (Nottingham) and Delfina Foundation (London). Selected group exhibitions include Kunstgebaude Stuttgart (Stuttgart), Portikus (Frankfurt), The Mistake Room (Los Angeles), SeMa Biennale (Seoul), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna), Museum Of Modern Art (Warsaw), ICA (London), the 12th Sharjah Biennale, the 31st São Paulo Biennial; the 10th Gwangju Biennale; the 13th Istanbul Biennial; the 6th Jerusalem Show; HomeWorks 5 (Beirut); and Palestine c/o Venice at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
They were fellows at Akademie der Kunste der Welt in Cologne in 2013 and artists in residence at the Delfina Foundation, London in 2009. They are recipients of the Sharjah Biennale Prize in 2015 and The Abraaj Prize in 2016. Their most recent publication ‘And Yet My Mask Is Powerful’ is published by Printed Matter in New York.
At those terrifying frontiers where the existence and disappearance of people fade into each other (part 2)
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme with Tashweesh | Live Arts Bard Commission | World Premiere
At those terrifying frontiers where the existence and disappearance of people fade into each other (part 2) brings together a site-specific video and sound installation by Palestinian-American artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme and a new performance by Tashweesh, an improvised constellation that brings the artists together with musician/performer Muqata’a. Combining their different practices in a joint performance, using sound, music, and images, the result is an exploration of the collision between returns, erasure, and disruption.
From the returns of the land and stubborn vegetation that does not die, to artifacts that are reactivated as living matter, figures that return in virtual form, and disruptive bodies that keep reappearing on borders. Both the installation and performance address the intentional erosion of bodies, land, and structures in different forms, but also their re-appearance in and returns to spaces where they “should not be.” These projects invite us to consider the forms of entanglement between the destruction of bodies and the erasure of images, and the conditions under which these same bodies and images might once again reappear.
More on Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme:
- Review of And Yet My Mask Is Powerful
- Article: “Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Basel Abbas in Conversation”