Exhibition dates: May 15 – Aug 1, 2015 // Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat 12-5pm
// Opening: May 14 @ 7:00pm
// Performance by Rana Hamadeh: May 21st @ 7pm (Free)
Artist Rana Hamadeh develops long-term projects that evolve through sequences of theatrical, cartographic works, sound and text-based constellations, as well as writings. Through various sources spanning literature, law, medicine, histories of hygiene and sanitation, European colonial legacies, Islamic mysticism and queer theory, Hamadeh’s recent works try to generate a network of propositions and claims that think through the relations of justice, militarism and theatre.
For her exhibition at Western Front, Hamadeh presents two complimentary entities/sketches for a new opera-under-development, which expands on her recent 8-channel sound play "Can You Pull in an Actor with a Fishhook or Tie Down His Tongue With a Rope?" Departing from a claim that views justice as the degree to which one can access the dramatic means of representation - the measure to which one can access theatre - the work takes the Shi’ite ceremony of "Ashura" as its main material.
The operatic performance work offers a reading of the present constructs of power in Syria and Lebanon by re-scripting, re-ordering and re-choreographing the theatrical components of Ashura. The gallery exhibition re-casts the performance as a theatre set without actors, serving as both a visual commentary on the performance and as a proposal for the future opera’s scenography.
This project is made possible with the generous financial support of the Mondriaan Fund. Presented in partnership with Gallery TPW in Toronto.
Rana Hamadeh is a visual and performance artist from Lebanon, currently based in Rotterdam. Her artistic practice extends towards the field of the curatorial, where she sees the curatorial as an articulation of emergent methodologies and modalities of readership, rather than as an apparatus to manage or put into order artistic production. She works on long-term discursive projects that interweave complex visual, textual, historical, and theoretical ideas and associations. Her work has been shown at a.o. the 8th Liverpool Biennial, The New Museum, EVA International, Wattis Institute, KIOSK, Lyon Biennale, The Lisson Gallery, Beirut (Cairo), and Witte de With. She graduated in 2009 with an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ, and is currently auditing within the Curatorial Knowledge PhD programme at Goldsmiths University, London.
Image credit: Rana Hamadeh, "A River in a Sea in a River" (detail), script and scenography for a play, 2014. Photo by Tom Callermin, image courtesy of Kiosk, Ghent.