SIDEBAR: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Omar Kholeif, and W.J.T. Mitchell

SIDEBAR: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Omar Kholeif, and W.J.T. Mitchell

University of Chicago Arts

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The Freedom of Speech Itself, 2012. Courtesy the artist.

November 29, 2017
SIDEBAR: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Omar Kholeif, and W.J.T. Mitchell

Lecture: December 7, 2017, 6pm
University of Chicago
Gray Center Lab
929 E 60th Street
Chicago IL

Internationally renowned artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan will present a lecture exploring his work on the politics of listening and visuality as part of the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry’s SIDEBAR series. The artist will discuss his work as a “private ear,” and present projects that deal with the intersection of politics and legality in the Middle East and abroad. This will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Omar Kholeif and Professor W. J. T. Mitchell.

SIDEBAR is a monthly conversation series at the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago that brings together artists and scholars in a relaxed atmosphere to delve into a diverse range of subject matters that  puzzle and inspire thinkers today. Open to the public, it aims to be (in no set order or preference) one part rigorous theoretical improv, one part MTV-Unplugged, one part academic dinner theater, and one part “yet to be determined.”

Started in the spring of 2017, recent SIDEBAR conversations have included: Gwen Allen, Robert Bird, Tony Cokes, Anthony Elms, Malu Halasa, Heinrich Jaeger, Dan Peterman, Cauleen Smith, and Jan Verwoert. Upcoming conversations in 2018 include: Darby English & Matthew Metzger (January 18), Stephan Palmié & Antoni Miralda (February 22).

About the speakers:

Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist and audio investigator and currently a guest of the DAAD artist in Berlin program. Abu Hamdan’s interest with sound and its intersection with politics originates from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music . The artist’s audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International. Abu Hamdan’s Rubber Coated Steel 2016 won the short film award at the Rotterdam International Film festival 2017 and his exhibition Earshot at Portikus Frankfurt (2016) was the recipient of the 2016 Nam June Paik Award. Other solo exhibitions include تقيه (taqiyya) at Kunsthalle St Gallen (2015), Tape Echo at Beirut in Cairo and Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven (2013), The Freedom Of Speech Itself at Showroom, London (2012), The Whole Truth at Casco, Utrecht (2012).

Dr. Omar Kholeif is the Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Recent and forthcoming curatorial projects include Sharjah Biennial 14; After Acceleration: the V-A-C Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale; Focus: Beyond Territory, Abu Dhabi Art; the 2015 Abraaj Group Art Prize, and the Cyprus Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.  Among his more than twenty edited or co-edited books are Electronic Superhighway (2016), The Rumors of the World: Re-thinking Trust in the Age of the Internet (2015), Moving Image (2015) and You Are Here: Art After the Internet (2014). Forthcoming single-authored books include, The Artists Who Will Change the World and Goodbye World! Looking at Art After the Internet (both 2018)

W.J.T. Mitchell is one of the world’s leading scholars on image culture. He teaches in both the English and the Art History departments at the University of Chicago, where he is Gaylord Donnelly Distinguished Service Professor. He is also the editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. His iconic books include, Seeing Through Race (Harvard, 2012), Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present (Chicago, 2011), What Do Pictures Want? Essays on the Lives and Loves of Images (Chicago, 2005), The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon (Chicago, 1998), Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation (Chicago: 1994). He is currently working on a book entitled Seeing Madness: Insanity, Media, and Visual Culture.

The Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Art and Inquiry is a forum at the University of Chicago for experimental collaborations between artists and scholars.

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University of Chicago Arts
November 29, 2017

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