Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983) work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices. They probe a contemporary landscape marked by seemingly perpetual crisis and an endless ‘present’, one that is increasingly shaped by a politics of desire and disaster. They have been developing a body of work that questions this suspension of the present and searches for ways in which an altogether different imaginary can emerge. In their projects, they find themselves excavating, activating and inventing incidental narratives, figures, gestures and sites as material for re-imagining the possibilities of the present. Often reflecting on the idea of returns, amnesia and déjà vu, they reveal the slippages between actuality and projection (fiction, myth, wish) - what is and what could be. Their practice, largely research based, frequently investigates the spatio-temporal resonances of seemingly disparate moments. Overwhelmingly their approach has been one of sampling materials (both existing and self-authored) in the form of sound, image, text and objects, recasting them into altogether new ‘scripts’. The result is a practice that investigates the visceral and material possibilities of sound, image, text and site, taking on the form of multi-media installations and live sound/image performances.
They have exhibited and performed internationally and founded the sound and image performance group Tashweesh. Solo exhibitions includeOnly the beloved keeps our secrets, The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema (Newcastle, 2016); And Yet My Mask is Powerful, Carroll / Fletcher (London, 2016); The Incidental Insurgents, ICA (Philadelphia, 2015), Office for Contemporary Art (Oslo, 2015), and Akademie Der Kuenste Der Welt (Cologne, 2014); The Zone, New Art Exchange (Nottingham, 2011); and Collapse, Delfina Foundation (London, 2009).
Recent group exhibitions include House of Commons, Portikus, Frankfurt; This Sea Is Mine, Qalandiya International, Ramallah (both 2016); Political Populism, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; the 12th Sharjah Biennale; Lest The Two Seas Meet, Warsaw Museum Of Modern Art (all 2015); the 31st São Paulo Biennial; 10th Gwangju Biennale; Insert 2014,New Delhi (all 2014); Asian Art Biennale (Taiwan); 13th Istanbul Biennial; Points of Departure, ICA, London (all 2013); the 6th Jerusalem Show; (On) Accordance, Grand Union/or-bits.com, Birmingham (both 2012); Future Movements - Jerusalem at the Liverpool Biennial, HomeWorks 5, Ashkal Alwan Beirut (all 2010); Delfina Foundation (London), and Palestine c/o Venice at the53rd Venice Biennale (both 2009).
Selected recent performances have taken place attheHammer Museum (Los Angeles, 2015); HKW House of World Culture (Berlin, 2013); Tanzquartier (Vienna,2013); Serpentine Pavilion (London, 2013); 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012); TBA 21 (Vienna, 2012); De Balle (Amsterdam, 2011); Beirut Art Centre (2011); Ars Cameralis (Katowice, 2011); The South Bank Centre (London, 2010); Danish Film Institute (Copenhagen, 2010) and CCA (Glasgow, 2010).
They received the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2016 and the Sharjah Biennial Prize in 2015. They were fellows at Akademie der Kunste der Welt in Cologne in 2013, and artists in residence at the Delfina Foundation, London in 2009.