The Recovered Manifesto of Wissam [inaudible], 2017

Basel 2019
Maureen Paley
Artificial orange trees, mini cassettes, stone speakers, printed sheets, and 3-channel audio installation Dimensions variable

Staatsarchiv Martinsgasse 2 Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist and ‘private ear’. His research has been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organizations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International. The artist’s audio investigations are conducted as part of his research for Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he received his PhD in 2017. Abu Hamdan’s interest in sound and its intersection with politics is a central focus in his work. ‘In the Chouf Mountains of Lebanon, old cassette tape is wrapped around fruit trees as a vernacular technique to ward off birds and insects. One day, one tree, deep in an orchard, stood out to me. The tape that was protecting this tree’s clementines was much thinner – it was mini-cassette tape, the kind used in small Dictaphone recorders or answering machines. I collected all the tape from the tree and harvested the voice that was magnetized to its surface. After listening to the opening lines, I eventually heard the voice identify itself as Wissam [inaudible], and understood from Wissam that I was listening to an audio recorded manuscript for a book or a manifesto on the elusive concept of taqiyya. Taqiyya is an esoteric Islamic juridical concept that is widely understood as the right to lie.’
– Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The Recovered Manifesto of Wissam [inaudible], 2017

Presented with additional support of mor charpentier, Paris