st-gallen-switzerland

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Conflicted Phonemes, 2012, vinyl, paper, paint, wood. Installation view.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Conflicted Phonemes, 2012, vinyl, paper, paint, wood. Installation view.

Surah al-Balad 90:9 of the Qur’an states that man was created with “one tongue and two lips,” the latter presumably conceived to keep the former in check. More than an idea, the verse suggests an actual mechanism, one that operated at the core of Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s most comprehensive exhibition to date, “ة ي ق ت ↱ (Taqiyya) – The Right to Duplicity.” The vehemently repeated utterance of this term throughout the byzantine sound-image-teleprompter installation Contra Diction (Speech Against Itself), 2015, refers to an ancient Arabic semantic concept that allows its user to outwardly and temporarily renounce his or her faith and to lie, so as to escape persecution at the hands of those of another faith or faction. What in the age of Daesh and its myriad mutations again constitutes a contemporary survival strategy simultaneously flourished in a Swiss kunsthalle as the latest variant

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