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Live Performance: Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan will use a series of sonic manipulations and pre-recorded samples to perform his live audio essay Contra-Diction: Speech Against Itself (2014). Departing from the voiceless protagonist of Jaques Tati’s Playtime, Abu Hamdan will explore how our right to silence can be preserved in today’s all-hearing, all-speaking society. He has researched the linguistics of Taqiyya, an old piece of Islamic jurisprudence that allows a person to deny their faith, or commit otherwise illegal acts, while they are at risk of persecution or in a condition of statelessness. By looking into stories of alleged forced conversions in northern Syria, Abu Hamdan indicates how minor speech acts can help us re-appraise the precision of speaking, and of remaining silent. This will be the first of two live performances taking place during the preview of our closing exhibition, Playtime.