Lawrence Abu Hamdan on Contra Diction: Speech Against Itself
March 1 2015
Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s talk, titled “Contra Diction: Speech Against Itself,” will address the ways in which our right to silence can be preserved in what the artist calls “today’s All-Hearing and All-Speaking society.” In his reappraisal of silence and its politics, Abu Hamdan will look into the linguistics of Taqiyya, an old form of Islamic jurisprudence practiced only by esoteric minorities that allows a believing individual to deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal acts when at risk of persecution or in a condition of statelessness. By looking into stories of alleged mass conversions of the Druze minority in northern Syria, Abu Hamdan indicates how such minor speech acts can help us re-appraise the precision of speaking, the multiple ways of remaining silent, and the inherently unfaithful nature of one’s voice.
Courtesy the artist and New Museum, New York