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Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Press release

Lawrence Abu Hamdan – The Voice Before the Law 

Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s (b. 1985 Amman, Jordan) audiovisual works and installations explore the political implications of language and communication. Traces of governmental or corporate violence and mechanisms of surveillance and propaganda reveal themselves in the scope of auditory perception.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is the winner of the Baloise Art Prize 2018, which also includes a purchase for the collection of the Nationalgalerie. The exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin focuses on this video and sound installation. This whole time there were no landmines (2017) deals with physical and emotional boundaries in a haunting way.

The footage consists of mobile phone recordings taken in 2011 in the area of the Golan Heights, a hilly region in the Middle East. Since 1967, main parts of the Golan Heights have been occupied by Israel. Due to the particular acoustics, an area of the region became known as “shouting hill” or “shouting valley”. The acoustic phenomenon of wandering and amplifying voices of this topography allows communication with megaphones across the border and was important for the separated families before the use of cell phones. The sound creates an acoustic bridge.