Jan 06 2020

Lawrence Abu Hamdan Wins 2022 Future Fields Commission

by Kylie Yeung

LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN is recipient of the 2022 Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media. Photo by Miro Kuzmanovińá. Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut / Hamburg.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo announced on January 3 that British-Lebanese artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan has won the 2022 Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media and a cash award of USD 125,000 to be used towards the commission. The new work will be unveiled at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in spring 2022, followed by an exhibition in the winter of the same year at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, and will be jointly acquired by both organizations.

As the first non-American artist of the Future Fields Commission, Abu Hamdan’s multimedia installation, tentatively titled How to Hear Impossible Speech: Lessons from the Division of Perceptual Studies, will employ the concept of reincarnation to investigate comprehensions of testimonies and witnesses. The piece will differ from his previous acoustic approach to reveal the movement of speech across not the physical form of spaces but across the intangible concepts of time, bodies, and histories in his examination of issues relating to social unrest, subjugation, and colonization.

Jordan-born and Beirut-based Abu Hamdan is known for his provocative practice exploring the art of sound along with other forms of multimedia and their intersection with pressing political issues. In his 2019 Turner Prize-winning piece, Walled Unwalled (2018), he traced the resonance of speech through physical walls in demonstrating how audio surveillance affects human rights under what he named society’s “politics of listening.” The artist is one of four joint winners of the Turner Prize, and his artworks have been exhibited, among others, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, London’s Tate Modern, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

The annual Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media, co-organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, aims to support the creation and acquisition of new multimedia works by international artists. The selection team this year included Ruth Estevez, senior curator at Rose Art Museum in Waltham; curator and editor of Kaleidoscope, Myriam Ben Salah; Polly Staple, director at London’s Tate; and Zasha Colah, curator and lecturer at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan. Previous recipients of the award included visual artist Rachel Rose and multimedia artist Martine Syms.

Kylie Yeung is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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