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).

Most Read

A report commissioned by the museum claims Raicovich ‘misled’ the board; she disputes the investigation’s claims
In further news: Jef Geys (1934–2018); and Hirshhorn postpones Krzysztof Wodiczko projection after Florida shooting
If the city’s pivot to contemporary art was first realized by landmark construction, then what comes after might not...
Ignoring its faux-dissident title, this year's edition at the New Museum displays a repertoire that is folky, angry,...
An insight into royal aesthetics's double nature: Charles I’s tastes and habits emerge as never before at London’s...
In other news: Artforum responds to #NotSurprised call for boycott of the magazine; Maria Balshaw apologizes for...
At transmediale in Berlin, contesting exclusionary language from the alt-right to offshore finance
From Shanghai to Dubai, a new history charts the frontiers where underground scenes battle big business for electronic...
Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, UK
Zihan Karim, Various Way of Departure, 2017, video still. Courtesy: Samdani Art Foundation
Can an alternative arts network, unmediated by the West's commercial capitals and burgeoning arts economies of China...
‘That moment, that smile’: collaborators of the filmmaker pay tribute to a force in California's film and music scenes...
In further news: We Are Not Surprised collective calls for boycott of Artforum, accuses it of 'empty politics'; Frida...
We Are Not Surprised group calls for the magazine to remove Knight Landesman as co-owner and withdraw move to dismiss...
Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film is both gorgeous and troubling in equal measure
With Zona Maco opening in the city today, a guide to the best exhibitions across the Mexican capital
The question at the heart of Manchester Art Gallery’s artwork removal: what are the risks when cultural programming...
In further news: Sonia Boyce explains removal of Manchester Art Gallery’s nude nymphs; Creative Scotland responds to...
Ahead of the India Art Fair running this weekend in the capital, a guide to the best shows to see around town
The gallery argues that the funding body is no longer supportive of institutions that maintain a principled refusal of...
The Dutch museum’s decision to remove a bust of its namesake is part of a wider reconsideration of colonial histories,...
At New York’s Metrograph, a diverse film programme addresses a ‘central problem’ of feminist filmmaking
Ronald Jones pays tribute to a rare critic, art historian, teacher and friend who coined the term Post-Minimalism
In further news: curators rally behind Laura Raicovich; Glasgow's Transmission Gallery responds to loss of Creative...
Nottingham Contemporary, UK
‘An artist in a proud and profound sense, whether he liked it or not’ – a tribute by Michael Bracewell
Ahead of a show at Amsterdam’s EYE Filmmuseum, how the documentarian’s wandering gaze takes in China’s landscapes of...
In further news: Stedelijk explains why it cancelled Ettore Sottsass retrospective; US National Gallery of Art cancels...
With 11 of her works on show at the Musée d'Orsay, one of the most underrated artists in modern European history is...
Reopening after a two-year hiatus, London’s brutalist landmark is more than a match for the photographer’s blockbuster...
What the Google Arts & Culture app tells us about our selfie obsession
At a time of #metoo fearlessness, a collection of female critics interrogate their own fandom for music’s most...
A rare, in-depth interview with fashion designer Jil Sander

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

October 2017

frieze magazine

November - December 2017

frieze magazine

January - February 2018