|The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) celebrates Lawrence Abu Hamdan, who was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Turner Prize, an annual award given to a British artist by the Tate. Abu Hamdan was chosen for his exhibition Earwitness Theatre, which is an international co-commission by CAM and three international art venues: Chisenhale Gallery, London; Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. Abu Hamdan’s video work, Walled Unwalled, included in the exhibition, was also singled out for the Turner. Earwitness Theatre is on view at CAM May 17 through August 18, 2019.|
In its announcement, Tate Britain writes, “Self-proclaimed ‘private ear,’ Abu Hamdan’s work investigates crimes that have been heard and not seen; exploring the processes of reconstruction, the complexity of memory and language as well as the urgency of human rights and advocacy. The jury was struck by Abu Hamdan’s exploration of sound as an architectural element and the way he recreates particular situations through sound and performance.” CAM Chief Curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi, who organized Earwitness Theatre for the museum, says, “We’re very proud to be a co-commissioner and involved in the production of Lawrence’s acclaimed exhibition. He’s an artist that I think audiences will be fascinated with as his work brings up many issues with regards to human rights, the politics of listening and of witness.”
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b.1985, Jordan) is an artist and audio investigator based in Beirut, Lebanon. His background as a touring musician led him to develop a deep interest in sound and its intersection with politics, which has become an integral part of his art practice. His audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and as advocacy with Forensic Architecture for organizations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International. The artist received his PhD in 2017 from Goldsmiths College London and is the author of the artist book [inaudible]: A Politics of Listening in 4 Acts. Recent solo exhibitions include Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014).
Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre is commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London, in partnership with CAM, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, and Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. The exhibition is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator, with Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator.
Via Press Release