Abu Hamdan's Aural Contract research project examines the politics of listening through a focus on the role of the voice in law, and takes the form of events, publications, performances, exhibitions, interviews, compositions and workshops.
For two years The Showroom worked with Abu Hamdan on Aural Contract: Parts 1 and 2, commissioned as part of the gallery’s participatory programme Communal Knowledge.
Following Aural Contract: Parts 1 and 2, The Showroom and Forensic Architecture at the Department for Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, commissioned Abu Hamdan to present the most recent stages of his Aural Contract research.
For this Abu Hamdan made an installation at The Showroom that centred on his new work, The Freedom of Speech Itself – an audio documentary looking at the the history and contemporary application of forensic speech analysis and voice-prints – and his extensive audio archive.
The exhibition was accompanied by series of events titled The Right to Silence, which was programmed in collaboration with Electra.
The Freedom of Speech Itself has since toured internationally.
The project was part of Communal Knowledge, supported by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and John Lyon's Charity. It is also part of Survival Kit: Art linking society, knowledge and activism, supported by Culture 2007–2013 programme of the European Union.
The Freedom of Speech Itself was produced by Somethin’ Else and commissioned by The Showroom and Forensic Architecture at the Department for Visual Cultures Goldsmiths, University of London.
Currently living in Lebanon, Abu Hamdan has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. His work deals with the relationship between listening and politics, borders, human rights, testimony and truth, and is in the collections of MoMA New York and Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven.More