Lost Objects of Desire

Videoinstalltion by Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme at Gallery Mana, Istanbul

“Once upon a time…they crossed….they left…. Until they reached a dense forest no one had reached before”- Shatar Hasan stories

When the horizon of liberation is subsumed by the immediacy of authority, what is the possibility of speech, what space is left for a radical imaginary?

A physical weight, a strained movement of release and containment expressed through a field of noise, the relentless repetition of a pixelated tide back and forth …this ceaseless flux of noise and image – punctured by moments of speech and storytelling – probes the parameters of comprehensibility, the potentially of the unspoken, the un-imaged, the not yet material.

A child’s tale from Shater Hassan’s children stories recorded in the 60’s never comes to fruition, a woman recounts the violent events at a demonstration in present day Ramallah, and nationalistic children’s songs from the 70’s appear and disappear into the background. It is here, in the relation between the submerging nature of noise and the potentiality of emergence that we open the possibility for the invisible, the un-imaged to begin to take shape in our imaginary.

05.10.2013 – 16.11.2013

Bodies That Matter at Gallery Mana, Istanbul

with works by Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Bashar Alhroub, Jawad al Malhi, Jeremy Hutchison, Jumana Emil Abboud, Mustafa al Hallaj, Olivia Plender

Curated by Rebecca Heald

Rebecca Heald is an independent curator and consultant. She recently curated Points of Departure at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, the result of a residency organised by Delfina Foundation and Art School Palestine in Ramallah in the summer of 2012.

Between 2009 and 2013 she was Director of New Contemporaries, the UK’s foremost organisation working with new and emerging artists.

The exhibition Bodies That Matter at Gallery Mana steals its title from Judith Butler’s 1993 classic book of the same name. It brings together artists absorbed in thinking about the body and structures of power in one of the most highly charged political laboratories of our time: Palestine.

The term “body politic” is a key metaphor in political thought and for centuries has been used it to liken the State to the human body. In visual terms, one of the most famous representations of this idea is the cover of Thomas Hobbes’ “Leviathan” in which the sovereign’s body is made up of many individual people, a literal manifestation of his belief in absolutism. Hundreds of years later, the idea, and ideal, of a nation as a single body made up of many persists, both in political rhetoric and in contemporary critical thought as a resource of social and political struggle.

 

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