Date: Tue 10 June
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As part of acting out: the institution denied, artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Eva Kotátková respond to the context and history of the Anatomy Theatre with two new performances. Departing from how medical sciences present the body as evidence of our psychological states, these performances stage and interrogate the truth of medical and scientific protocols and their impact on individuals and society.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan presents a new performative lecture developed out of his work The Whole Truth, an audio documentary investigating the current application of voice analysis as a lie detection method recently piloted by European, Russian and Israeli governments as well as being employed in border agencies and insurance companies all over the world. This technology uses the voice as a kind of stethoscope, an instrument to measure internal bodily responses to stress and tension; a material channel that allows the law’s listening to bypass speech and delve deeper into the body of its subjects.
This performance will incorporate a wide array of voices from software developers, anthropologists and entrepreneurs of the biometric industry, from the Netherlands, USA and elsewhere. To the listeners, it offers a fresh look into how truth is constituted, to whom truth matters and who can use it; it complicates the current conventions of testimony and its relationship to trauma, free speech, technology and the body.
Eva Kotátková presents a newly commissioned performance Picture atlas of Johan, a boy who cut the library of the clinic into pieces continuing her on-going exploration of institutions and disciplinary systems that control and manage behaviours and bodies, such as schools and psychiatric hospitals. In dialogue with the history of the Anatomy Theatre, this new work stages a medical examination alongside abstract representations of inner visions, anxieties and fears.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s (b.1985 Amman) work frequently deals with the relationship between listening and borders, human rights, testimony, truth and law, through the production of audio-visual installations, graphic design, sculpture, photography, workshops and performance. His work with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background in DIY music. His work was submitted as evidence at the UK asylum tribunal where the artist himself was called as an expert witness. His solo exhibitions include The Freedom Of Speech Itself (2012) at Showroom, London, The Whole Truth (2012) at Casco, Utrecht and most recently Tape Echo (2013) at Beirut in Cairo His works have been part of group exhibitions at Tate Modern London, M HKA Antwerp, Van AbbeMuseum, Eindhoven, the Beirut Art Center and The 2012 Taipei Biennial. Abu Hamdan’s writing can be found in Forensis Sternberg press, Manifesta Journal and Cabinet Magazine. Abu Hamdan curated events at the Reitveld Academie in Amsterdam and at Batroun Projects Lebanon. He is part of the team Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths College London where he is a PhD candidate and lecturer.
Eva Kotátková (b.1982, Prague) studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts, Prague Academy of Applied Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and Akademie Bildende Kunst Wien from 2002-2007. In 2007 - at the age of 25 - she became the youngest artist ever to be awarded the Jindrich Chalupecky Award for young artists in the Czech Republic. Kotátková exhibits extensively internationally and in the Czech Republic and her work is included in numerous private and public collections. Her latest international shows were in solo show Modern Art Oxford 2013 and Venice Bienalle 2013. Kotátková recently exhibited at the 55th Venice Biennale as part of Massimiliano Gioni’s The Encyclopedic Palace.
The Visual Arts programme is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Discover more about: Visual arts
Commissioned by Anxiety 2014 in collaboration with the Cultural Institute at King’s College London.
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