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Lawrence Abu Hamdan Wins 2018 Abraaj Group Art Prize

Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

©ERIC T. WHITE

This year’s Abraaj Group Art Prize has gone to Lawrence Abu Hamdan, the Berlin-based sound and installation artist whose work explores the politics of hearing. One of the largest monetary art prizes in the world, the award recognizes artists from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, and comes with $100,000 for the winner to realize a “dream project,” according to a release. Basma Alsharif, Neïl Beloufa, and Ali Cherri were also shortlisted for this year’s prize.

Abu Hamdan, who hails from Beirut and currently works in Berlin, is known for his installations and videos about sound. His work focuses on the role of noise and silence in conflicts, and the ways that hearing can be used in activism.

“I am delighted to be chosen as the winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize, especially in light of this being the 10th anniversary of an award that has been granted to many excellent artists over the years,” Abu Hamdan said in a statement. “The prize allows me to produce and conceive a work using materials and technologies previously unavailable to me, and in doing so enables me to deepen my exploration of the most contemporary ways of seeing and hearing our world.”

Abu Hamdan’s work will now be shown at the 2018 edition of the Art Dubai fair, which opens in March. He also won the Folkwang Museum’s Nam June Paik Award in 2016 and was shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award this year.

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