Sep 21 2018

AAP Monthly Picks: September–October 2018

by The Editors

Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Earwitness Theatre

Sep 21–Dec 9

Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK

Installation view of LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN’s Saydnaya (the missing 19db), 2017, stereo audio, two speakers, mixing console with automated faders: 12 min 48 sec., at “Hammer Projects: Lawrence Abu Hamdan,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2018. Photo by Joshua White. Courtesy the artist and Hammer Museum. 

Amman-born, Beirut-based artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s research-based works investigate the politics and social effects of sound in today’s culture of surveillance. “Earwitness Theatre” will feature a new installation, Earwitness Inventory, co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art. The work comprises 95 custom-designed and sourced objects, such as door instruments, pinecones, and various models of shoes, that feature in legal cases involving contested descriptions of acoustic memories. The installation will be supplemented by Abu Hamdan’s seminal project Saydnaya (the missing 19db) (2017)—a work that exposes the Syrian regime prison of Saydnaya through audio interviews detailing the memories of former detainees. There will also be a text-based work that provides further insight into the artist’s process of sonic reconstruction and his explorations into the boundaries between the visible and the invisible. 

The Commute

Sep 22–Dec 22

Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia

CAROL MCGREGOR, Black Seeds, 2016, possum skins, cotton, ochre, ash and resin, 187 × 93 cm. Courtesy the artist and Redland Art Gallery Collection, Cleveland.

“The Commute” will examine networks of migration, trade and exchange, as well as the political and environmental forces that impact the movement of communities and individuals, with a particular focus on the Indigenous experiences of these factors. The show is curated by five Indigenous curators and will feature a series of commissioned works by Indigenous artists from around the world. Among the displays will be Natalie Ball’s sculptures and assemblages, which aim to rework the dominant narratives of Native American experience, and Hannah Brontë’s body paintings, photography as well as experimental video and sound works exploring the changing roles of women today.

Is It My Body?

Sep 29–Oct 4

Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China

EISA JOCSON, Princess Studies: Fantasy, Work and Happiness, 2015, video documentation of performance with dancer Joshua Serafin: 31 min 46 sec., at Para Site, Hong Kong, 2015. Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai.

This year, Rockbund Art Museum’s annual special project will look into how languages and images impact our subjective understandings of the body. Curated by Hsieh Feng-Rong, “Is It My Body” will feature performances, videos and workshops by four artists and a collective—Eisa Jocson, Nunu Kong, Lu Yang, Venuri Perera and Geumhyung Jeong. Jocson’s staging of Snow White, for example, will examine how popular media inscribes the body with class and racial politics, while Kong’s participatory performance workshops with choreographed movements and exercises seek a deeper understanding of the strengths and limits of the human body. 

Wanchai Grammatica: Past, Present, Future Tense

Sep 30–Nov 4

Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

LUIS CHAN, Untitled (Fantasy Landscape with Undersea Mountains), 1977, ink and pigment on paper, 98 × 71.5 cm. Courtesy Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong.

In celebration of the institution’s 40th anniversary, Hong Kong Arts Centre will examine the multitudinous identities that make up Hong Kong’s unique communities. Taking Wan Chai—one of Hong Kong’s most iconic and historic districts—as its departure point, the exhibition will reflect on how Hong Kong history has molded its society, culture and landscape, and vice versa. Paintings, installations, performances and new media works by established and emerging Hong Kong artists such as Luis Chan, Firenze Lai, Ho Sin Tung, MAP Office, Trevor Yeung, South Ho and Phoebe Hui will be on view.

Catastrophe and the Power of Art

Oct 6–Jan 20, 2019

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

GILLIAN WEARING, work from the series “Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say,” 1992–93, C-print on aluminum, 44.5 × 29.7 cm. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London/Hove.

Centered on the idea that art can document, expose, and overcome tragedy, Mori Art Museum will present some 40 international artists who reflect on contemporary challenges. Divided into two sections, the show will first focus on how adversity is expressed in art, and then investigate how the visual medium has worked as “a vehicle for messages of hope, or a tool for solidarity in the face of oppression,” according to the museum. The exhibition will recall humanity’s crises and triumphs through artworks such as Gillian Wearing’s photographic series from 1992 to 1993, of passers-by holding signs that declare personal secrets, probing individuals’ responses to economic decline in Britain at the time. Also slated to be exhibited is Miyajima Tatsuo’s installation Sea of Time – TOHOKU (2017 Ishinomaki) (2017)—a decade-long crowdfunding project that commemorates the victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

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