Public Program:
Get Weird: Tarek Atoui with U.S. Girls
July 24 2009
Artist and musician Tarek Atoui’s debut New York performance, Un-drum/strategies of surviving noise (2009) is an intense, physical sound performance that draws upon three days of arrest and torture he experienced during the July 2006 war on Lebanon, in which a beating to the head resulted in a permanent, but partial loss of hearing in his left ear. Un-drum/strategies of surviving noise draws parallels between attempts to defy states of physical and psychological detention and siege and the collapse of boundaries in musical performance, laptop art, and electronic music. The work is composed, programmed, engineered, and performed by Atoui and produced by the Sharjah Biennial 9 (2009). Comprised of hyperactive breakbeats, menacing drones, and disconcerting field recordings, Atoui’s electronic music creates a midpoint between the hissing emotion of Christian Fennesz and the percussive assault of Muslimgauze. His debut CD Mort aux Vaches was released in 2008 by Amsterdam’s legendary experimental label Staalplaat. Atoui is Museum as Hub artist in residence this summer.

Meghan Remy is U.S. Girls. Her music is built from the scratchiest, most resilient elements of pop songs, as if the world has ended and all that remains are blown-out snare drums and guitar echoes. Nestled in among these eerie, hollow sounds is Remy’s haunted voice. According to, “she sings as if she’s a ghost with a grudge.” Notorious for otherworldly covers of Bruce Springsteen and the Ronettes, the U.S. Girls performance is a sometimes-bleak sometimes-glorious reinvention of pop music.

Produced by the Sharjah Biennial 9

New Museum curator
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum