Chicago: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
By Noah Hanna
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme: "If only this mountain between us could be ground to dust"
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Palestinian artists Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme have created an exceptional and unabashed statement on what it means to give mediated presence to a people whose existence is the target of eradicative forces. Going far beyond addressing flaws in representation, their exhibition “If only this mountain between us could be ground to dust” served as a powerful vehicle toward radical visibility, starting with its form. Placed deep within the Art Institute of Chicago’s architecture collections, the show encompassed a single darkened gallery, separated by a temporary wall that concealed its visual climax. This barrier did nothing to hold back the deep auditory experience that emanated throughout the gallery, pulling the viewer forward in a metaphorical fulfilment of the show’s title.