Lawrence Abu Hamdan (born 1985) is an artist working in London and Beirut. He is a collaborator of a research group founded at the Goldsmith College of Art in London called Forensic Architecture, which deals with technologically advanced research on public space and the media. Forensic Architecture is a platform combining various specialisations, interested in finding solutions to the pressing problems of modern times, such as violence against civilians in places of long-lasting conflicts, immigration and violation of human rights. The platform’s founders propose an innovative approach to seemingly insoluble problems using advanced technologies and unconventional methods of analysis.
In the context of the Museum’s collection, the work of Abu Hamdan is a contemporary development of the idea of politically engaged art, aware of complex transformations that contemporary societies are undergoing and looking for methods to meet these challenges. “Earshot”, from 2016, is an installation consisting of a video and colour prints. It was created as a result of the artist’s cooperation with human rights organisations following the murder of two Palestinian teenagers, Nadeem Nawara and Mohmad Abu Daher, by the Israeli army during the riots in the occupied West Bank. Abu Hamdan’s audio-ballistic research showed that Israeli soldiers violated the law by using live, and not, as they claimed, rubber-coated ammunition, which is allowed to control riots. The visualisations prepared by the artist were widely presented in the media. The guilty have never been punished, and there has not even been a trial in this case. This is where the artistic (and not investigative) part of the artist’s work begins. His installation presents an imaginary trial, which reflects the nature of this kind of procedure in real life, painfully showing how much the victims are deprived of the right to be heard. Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s work is now gaining a lot of attention, and “Earshot” was conferred the prestigious Nam June Paik Award by the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia. This work marks a new meaning of the concept of the “political” in art.
Year: 2016 Medium: installation: "Rubber Coated Steel", 2016, video HD, sound, headphones, 9 prints: c-print on Kodak metallic paper
Format: video HD 21'47'', prints 50 x 125 x 2 cm each
Ownership form: collection Source: Galeria Maureen Paley Index: MSN: 4300-17/2017 Acquisition date: Nov 27, 2017