‘Air Conditioning’ by Lawrence Abu Hamdan at MUDAM Luxembourg

MUDAM Luxembourg features a show by Lawrence Abu Hamdan titled ‘Air Conditioning’ from March 29 until June 9th. Lawrence Abu Hamdan known as a ‘Private Ear,’ explores the realms of sound and listening in his distinctive body of work. Operating at the crossroads of politics, law, and society, Abu Hamdan scrutinises the role of sound in shaping individual and collective memory.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Air Conditioning, 2022, 15 full colour inkjet prints mounted on Alu-Dibond, 90 x 5475 cm / 90 x 365 cm each, HD video, colour, sound 2 min 42 sec. Ed. 1/6 + 2 AP, Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Acquisition 2023, View of the exhibition “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: The Sonic Image”, Sharjah Art Foundation, 4 March – 4 July 2022. © Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg

One of his works, “Air Conditioning” (2022), recently acquired by the Mudam Collection, spans over fifty-four meters. Conceptualised between May 2020 and May 2021, Abu Hamdan meticulously researched open-source data from the United Nations Digital Library, focusing on instances of surveillance and violation of Lebanese airspace by Israeli military aircraft from 2007 to 2021, post-UNSC Resolution 1701 following the 2006 conflict between Israel and Lebanon.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Air Conditioning, 2022
HD video, colour, sound, 2 min 42 sec
Ed. 1/6 + 2 AP, Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Acquisition 2023. View of the installation « Lawrence Abu Hamdan », Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 11 June – 18 September 2022. © Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg. Photo: Volker Renner

In “Air Conditioning,” each 365-centimetre print represents a year, with each centimetre denoting a day. The height and thickness of the plume symbolise the number of planes and the duration of their flights, respectively. Aircraft types are arranged by altitude, while the sonic characteristics of each vehicle, from the ominous roar of fighter jets to the persistent hum of drones, are mirrored in the tone and density of the clouds.

Abu Hamdan’s work captures the impact of prolonged exposure to ubiquitous noise pollution, termed “atmospheric violence,” highlighting the resulting trauma. The images depict a horizon filled with smoke clouds, conveying a sense of perpetual motion and soundlessness, evoking a meditative reflection on the relationship between sound, memory, and oblivion. Through “Air Conditioning,” Abu Hamdan invites viewers to engage in a contemplative journey, encouraging them to unravel the layers of meaning within this evocative landscape.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Air Conditioning, 2022. 15 full colour inkjet prints mounted on Alu-Dibond, 90 x 5475 cm / 90 x 365 cm each. HD video, colour, sound. 2 min 42 sec. Ed. 1/6 + 2 AP. Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Acquisition 2023, View of the installation « Lawrence Abu Hamdan », Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 11 June – 18 September 2022. © Courtesy the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut / Hamburg. Photo: Volker Renner

About Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Abu Hamdan (b. 1985, Amman, Jordan) boasts institutional solo exhibitions at FRAC Franche-Comté, Besançon (2023); MUAC- UNAM, Mexico City (2023); MoMA, New York (2023); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2022); Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah (2022); and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2021). He participated in global events like the Berlin Biennale (2022), Manifesta 14, Pristina (2022), São Paulo Bienal (2021), Sydney Biennale (2020), and Venice Biennale (2019). His work resides in esteemed collections including Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, MoMA, Guggenheim, Reina Sofía, Neue Nationalgalerie, and Sharjah Art Foundation. Abu Hamdan is based in Dubai, UAE.

Location: Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean

Date: 29 March–9 June 2024

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