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Art21 to Release First Film of 2024: “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Politics of Listening”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 25, 2024

New York, New York Art21 is proud to announce the premiere of a new film: “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Politics of Listening” premiering Wednesday, February 7 at 12:00pm ET on Art21.org and YouTube. The first 2024 release of Art21’s digital film series, Extended Play, “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Politics of Listening” follows artist and “private ear” Lawrence Abu Hamdan during his 2023 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, where he foregrounds listening as a vital political act.

Watch the trailer now: https://youtu.be/2Y4HK_GsfKY 

“I’ve dedicated a lot of work to thinking about a politics of listening,” says the artist. “That’s quite different to a politics of speech, where everyone should have a voice. Because where and when those voices are heard is just as important.”

Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents investigations of auditory phenomena, ranging from “earwitness testimonies” given by survivors of a brutal prison in Syria to the political pressure applied by the sound of military planes flying above one’s head. In his films, performances, websites and installations that stem from these investigations, Abu Hamdan proposes modes of listening that allow for new political thought and action.

“Preparing to interview Lawrence Abu Hamdan was a daunting task, given the cross-disciplinary and far-reaching nature of his practice. This challenge was amplified by the serious and pressing global issues that his work addresses,” says Ian Forster, Director and Art21 Senior Producer. “Despite taking such diverse forms, his work’s continued emphasis on the importance of ‘good listening’ runs through each project. While Art21 always encourages our audience to ‘watch now,’ in this instance, it’s equally important to truly listen.”

Arabic and English closed captions will accompany the premiere of “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Politics of Listening” on the Art21 website and YouTube. Subsequent translations of the film are generously contributed by our volunteer translation community through Amara.org.

Tune in to the premiere of “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Politics of Listening” on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, at 12PM ET at Art21.org and on Art21’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/art21org. To learn more email Art21 Manager of Communications, Hannah DeGarmo, at [email protected]

About Extended Play

Art21’s Extended Play digital series provides unmediated, behind-the-scenes access to today’s leading artists. Through process-revealing footage and intimate interviews, these curatorially-driven films chronicle a diverse scale of international projects, ranging from major commissions to exploratory sketches. Produced in close collaboration with artists, Extended Play uncovers the provocative ideas, timely cultural influences, and biographical anecdotes that inspire the artists featured throughout the series.

Extended Play is presented by the Marina Kellen French Foundation, with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Henry Nias Foundation, and individual contributors.

About Art21

Art21 is the world’s leading source to learn directly from the artists of our time. A nonprofit organization, the mission of Art21 is to educate and expand access to contemporary art, producing documentary films, resources, and public programs. Learn more at Art21.org.

Press Contact

Hannah DeGarmo
Manager of Communications, Art21
[email protected]