Lawrence Abu Hamdan is an artist and “private ear” whose projects have taken the form of audiovisual installations, performances, graphic works, photography, Islamic sermons, cassette tape compositions, essays, and lectures. His interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background in DIY music.
In 2013 Abu Hamdan’s audio documentary The Freedom of Speech Itself was submitted as evidence at the UK asylum tribunal where the artist himself was called to testify as an expert witness. He continues to make sonic analyses for legal investigations and advocacy – most recently his work was prominently part the No More Forgotten Lives campaign for Defense for Children International. The artist’s forensic audio investigations are conducted as part of his research for Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College London.
Selected solo exhibitions include The Voice Before the Law, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2019); Earwitness Theatre, Institute of Modern Art, Birsbane (2019), Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (2019), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2019), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2018) ; Hammer Projects: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Hammer Museum, LA (2018); Earshot, Portikus, Frankfurt (2016); Taqiyya, Kunsthalle St Gallen (2015); Tape Echo, Beirut in Cairo and Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven (2013); The Freedom Of Speech Itself, The Showroom, London (2012), The Whole Truth, Casco, Utrecht (2012).
Additionally his works have been exhibited and performed at institutions and international events such as the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020); the 58th Venice Biennale (2019); Tate Modern, London, UK (2018, 2013); Sharjah Biennale 14 & 13 (2019-2017) ; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2017); Contour Biennale 8, Mechelen, Belgium (2017); MACBA, Barcelona, Spain (2017); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2017); the 11th Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2016); the 9th Liverpool Biennial, UK (2016); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon (2015); and the 10th Shanghai Biennial (2014), among many others.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan is the co-winner of the Turner Prize 2019. He is also the recipient of the 2020 EMAF Award, the 2019 Edvard Munch Art Award, the Baloise Art Prize 2018 and the Abraaj Art Prize 2018. In 2017, he won the short film award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and in 2016, he received the Nam June Paik Award for new media. More recently, he was awarded the 2022 Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.