Can You Make a Pet of Him Like a Bird or Put Him on a Leash For Your Girls?

/ Opening @ 7:00pm

May 15th – August 2nd
Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 12-5pm

Sound Play
Thursday, May 21st @ 7pm
Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front
Free Admission

Visual and performance artist Rana Hamadeh develops research projects that think through systems of justice, militarism, histories of sanitation, and theatre. Hamadeh’s exhibition will present two complementary sketches of her new opera-under-development, manifesting as both a live performance and a gallery exhibition. Expanding on her recent eight-channel sound play, Can You Pull in an Actor with a Fishhook or Tie Down His Tongue With a Rope? (2014), the work takes the Shi’ite ceremony of Ashura as its main material. Decoding, then re-ordering and re-choreographing the ceremony’s theatrical components, Hamadeh uses histories of power in Syria and Lebanon as a starting point to examine militant theatre, military institutions and capital. The gallery exhibition will serve as a proposal for the future opera’s scenography, extracting textual elements from the play and re-casting them as a theatre set without actors.

Exhibition Brochure and Catalogue Essay (PDF)

Artist Biography

Rana Hamadeh is a visual and performance artist from Lebanon, currently based in Rotterdam. Her artistic practice extends towards the field of the curatorial, which she sees as an articulation of emergent methodologies and modalities of readership, rather than as an apparatus to manage or put into order artistic production. She works on long-term discursive projects that interweave complex visual, textual, historical, and theoretical ideas and associations. Her work has been shown at the 8th Liverpool Biennial, The New Museum, EVA International, Wattis Institute, KIOSK, Lyon Biennale, The Lisson Gallery, Beirut (Cairo), and Witte de With. She graduated in 2009 with an MFA from the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ, and is currently auditing within the Curatorial Knowledge PhD programme at Goldsmiths University, London.

This project is made possible with the generous financial support of the Mondriaan Fund.