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Portfolio: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

A Neolithic mask and Roberto Bolaño’s Savage Detectives: the artist duo share a selection of important quotations and images

A glitch appears: a wrinkle in time of the constant present. If we listen to an archetypal glitchy sound, an Oval track for example, we can hear a rich tapestry of sound and absence of sound. There are skips, something is missing, there are holes in the smooth space of sound...

Janne Vanhanen, 'Loving the Ghost in the Machine: Aesthetics of Interruption', 2015

jean-luc_godard_here_and_elsewhere_1976

Jean-Luc Godard, Here and Elsewhere, 1976

Jean-Luc Godard, Here and Elsewhere, 1976

I need to become anonymous. In order to be present.

The more anonymous I am, the more present I am.

I need zones of indistinction
to reach the Common.
To no longer recognize myself in my name. To no longer hear in my
name anything but the voice that calls it.
To give substance to the how of beings, not what they are but how they are what
they are. Their life-form.
I need zones of opacity where the attributes,
even criminal, even brilliant,
no longer separate bodies. 

The Invisible Committee, 'How is it to be done?'

All the feeling of that line was---- not in the words, or in the arrangement, not even in the rhythm, but in the sound, in the way the whole echoed back on itself. That night--- it was as if this straightforward performance, established by means of ordinary equipment (microphones, amplifiers, speakers) had been transformed by on stage aural flashbacks, flash forwards, freeze frames, split screens, matched dissolves, metronomic track shots: all the technology of displacement. The echoes were patent, physical.

Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, (Faber & Faber, 2014)

jean-luc_godard_bande_a_part_1964

Jean-Luc Godard, Bande à part, 1964

Jean-Luc Godard, Bande à part, 1964

They stood at attention like soldiers or kneeled like true believers, and they drank the last drops of Los Suicidas mezcal in honor of all those strange or familiar names, remembered or forgotten even by their own grandchildren.

Roberto Bolaño, The Savage Detectives (Picador, 2007)

For months there was nothing  to see but a dried-up desert; who could guess that beneath the calcined ground, millions of invincible seeds were concealed, ready to germinate.

Victor Serge, Unforgiving Years (The New York Review of Books, 2008)

basel_abbas_and_ruanne_abou-rahme_3d_rendering_of_neolithic_mask._courtesy_the_artists

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, 3D rendering of Neolithic Mask. Courtesy: the artists

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, 3D rendering of Neolithic Mask. Courtesy: the artists

So many funeral masks

lie preserved in the earth

that nothing yet is lost.

Victor Serge, Unforgiving Years (The New York Review of Books, 2008)

Basel Abbas (b.1983, Nicosia, Cyprus) and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983, Boston) are artists who live and work between Ramallah and New York. In 2015, they were the subjects of solo exhibitions at Carroll / Fletcher, London; OCA, Oslo; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Recently, they were included in Art Dubai (2016); 'Histories of a Vanishing Present: Chapter 1', The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2016); Political Populism, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2015); 'Great Tricks From Your Future', Downtown Contemporary Art Festival, Cairo (2015); and the 12th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE, where they were recipients of the Sharjah Biennial Prize. Later this year, they will have work inlcuded in SeMA Biennale Mediacity, Seoul, and the Yinchuan Biennale, will have a screening at The Gallery at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle (9 September), and a solo show at Carroll / Fletcher, London (9 September – 29 October).

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