Archive2016

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Rubber Coated Steel (film still), 2016. Courtesy the artist

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Rubber Coated Steel, 2016. Installation view at The Oratory. Photo Mark McNulty

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The Freedom Of Speech Itself, 2012. Film still. Photo courtesy of the artist

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The All Hearing, 2014. Film still. Photo courtesy of the artist

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Aural Contract, 2010 – ongoing. Photo courtesy of the artist

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Rubber Coated Steel (film still), 2016. Courtesy the artist

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b. 1985, Amman, Jordan) lives in Beirut, Lebanon. Abu Hamdan’s work frequently deals with the relationship between listening and politics, borders, human rights, testimony and truth through the production of documentaries, essays, audio-visual installations, video works, graphic design, sculpture, photography, workshops and performance. He also makes audio analyses for legal investigations and advocacy. 

For over ten years, the UK government has been using the humming sound generated by the electrical grid as a surveillance tool. Nearly all recordings made within earshot of this almost-silent humming can be forensically analysed to determine time and date, and whether the recording has been edited or altered. This technique has, so far, only ever been used by the state. Abu Hamdan’s Hummingbird Clock is a new kind of public timepiece, located both online and physically, outside the law courts in Liverpool's Derby Square. It is designed as tool for investigations into civil and human rights violations and state corruption. Hummingbird Clock records the continual buzz of the electrical grid, making this data available to anyone who might need it.

In the Oratory, Rubber Coated Steel testifies to the relationship between technology and power, as part of the Ancient Greece episode. In 2014 Abu Hamdan was asked to work on audio files that recorded the shootings of Nadeem Nawara and Mohamed Abu Daher on the West Bank of Palestine. These files, which proved that the boys were shot by real bullets and not rubber ones, are the starting point for a work about aesthetics, politics and the violence of sound and silence.

Solo exhibitions include venues such as Kunsthalle St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland (2015); Beirut, Cairo, Egypt (2013); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands (2013); Showroom, London, UK (2012); and Casco, Utrecht, the Netherlands (2012). Abu Hamdan has written for Forensis, Manifesta Journal and Cabinet Magazine. His upcoming solo exhibition will be at Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany in February 2016.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan at Liverpool Biennial 2016


Double Take: Office/Leader of the Chasseurs/Syrian Revolution Commanding a Charge
, 2016
HD video installation and paintings
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool

Rubber coated steel, 2016
HD video, sound 21 minutes
Exhibited at The Oratory

The Hummingbird Clock, 2016
3 headed telescope, sound and LED display, website
Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial
Exhibited at Derby Square and online at hummingbirdclock.info