Journal #106 - Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme - At Those Terrifying Frontiers Where the Existence and Disappearance of People Fade into Each Other
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Journal #106
February 2020
Journal #106 - February 2020

At Those Terrifying Frontiers Where the Existence and Disappearance of People Fade into Each Other

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, Screenshot 2019-12-08 20.17.01, 2019. Courtesy of the artists.

And so our need for a new consciousness at those terrifying frontiers where the existence and disappearance of people fade into each other.
—Edward Said, After the Last Sky

Fragments from Edwards Said’s most personal and poetic work, After the Last Sky, are repurposed to create a new script that reflects on what it means now to be constructed as an “illegal” person, body, or entity. The script is turned into a song that is sung by the artists as multiple avatars. Created via a software program that generates avatars from a single image, the avatars in the video all come from images of people who participated in the “Great March of Return” that continues to take place regularly on the seamline in Gaza, an area that has been under physical siege since 2006. The relationship between fugitivity, fragility, and futurity becomes manifest in this field. The project uses low-resolution images that were circulated online; the avatar software renders the missing data and information in the original images as scars, glitches, and incomplete features on the characters’ faces.

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This work was presented as a live performance at e-flux in June 2019, and also exists as a sound and video work.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation, and performance practices. Their practice is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body, and virtuality.

© 2020 e-flux and the author
Journal # 106
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