Astrup Fearnley Museet presents Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme from March 10 to May 28, 2023.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme are two artists who have been collaborating since 2007. Their joint works are brought together in an exhibition titled “An echo buried deep deep down but calling still,” which surveys their practice and highlights their contributions to the poetics of resistance and the political and creative possibilities of the fragmentary. This exhibition showcases their development over the last decade and a half across a range of mediums, including video, sound, installation, and performance.
The exhibition explores the artists’ ongoing concern with how communities endure and create potential within the context of oppressive political systems, such as state-sanctioned violence and colonialism. Through a range of sources, including American feminist poet Adrienne Rich and Chilean writer Roberto Bolaño, Abbas and Abou-Rahme use the conditions of exclusion and brutality as tools for creating counternarratives that move beyond a politics of repair.
The artists’ use of different mediums and collaboration across art forms creates a tension between fixing a fugitive digital archive and retaining an openness that allows new social and aesthetic possibilities to emerge. The exhibition’s performance program further explores this strand of their practice.
Abbas and Abou-Rahme were born in Cyprus and the United States, respectively, and live and work between Ramallah, Palestine and New York, USA. Their work has been featured in major biennials and museums internationally, and in 2022, May amnesia never kiss us on the mouth (2013 – ongoing) was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art, USA.
The exhibition provides an opportunity to understand the breadth of Abbas and Abou-Rahme’s work and their contributions to the poetics of resistance and the political as well as creative possibilities of the fragmentary. The layering of archival material and self-authored tracks in their soundtracks and the projection of videos onto multiple, irregular surfaces create an immersive experience that offers multiple viewpoints simultaneously.
Through their practice, Abbas and Abou-Rahme seek to create counternarratives that challenge dominant power structures and offer new possibilities for resistance and creativity. Their work highlights the importance of exploring and understanding the complexities of political and social systems, and the role that art can play in imagining and creating alternatives.
The exhibition is a testament to the power of collaboration and the potential for art to challenge and disrupt dominant narratives, providing a platform for voices that are often marginalized or silenced. Through their work, Abbas and Abou-Rahme remind us of the importance of resistance, creativity, and imagination in the face of oppression and injustice.
Curated by Solveig Øvstebø
Thursday, March 9, 6pm
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme in conversation with Mike Sperlinger
Friday, March 10, 5pm
Timotheus Vermeulen on Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Thursday, March 23, 6pm
Performance: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme