Happening Now

Middle East Studies

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983) work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation, and performance practices. Their practice, largely research-based, is engaged in the intersections between performativity, political imaginaries, the body, and virtuality. Across their works, they probe a contemporary landscape marked by seemingly perpetual crisis and an endless ‘present,' one that is shaped by a politics of desire and disaster. In their projects, they find themselves excavating, activating, and inventing incidental narratives, figures, gestures, and sites as material for re-imagining the possibilities of the present. Largely their approach has been one of sampling materials both existing and self-authored in the form of sound, image, text, objects, and recasting them into altogether new ‘scripts.' The result is a practice that investigates the political, visceral, material possibilities of sound, image, text, and site, taking on the form of multi-media installations and live sound/image performances.

They were fellows at Akademie der Kunste der Welt in Cologne in 2013 and artists in residence at the Delfina Foundation, London in 2009. They are recipients of the Sharjah Biennale Prize in 2015 and the Abraaj Prize in 2016. Their most recent publication And Yet My Mask Is Powerful was published by Printed Matter in New York.