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Masks, Facades, and Faces


29/06/22 7pm


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Artist Joe Namy presents an evening of sound performances in response to the exhibition. In collaboration with dramatic soprano Alya Al-Sultani and cellist Khabat Abas.

For this site specific sound performance responding to the exhibition, the artist Joe Namy has put together an acoustic arrangement of iconographic sketches by the conceptual architect John Hejduk, focusing on sketches concerned with the metaphysics of objects and subjects, and their associations with place. Performed live by Alya Alsultani, Khabat Abas, and Joe Namy within Mahmoud Khaled’s exhibition Fantasies on a Found Phone, Dedicated to the Man Who Lost it.


Joe Namy is an American-born, London and Beirut-based artist, educator, and composer, often working collaboratively across mediums—in sound, performance, sculpture, and video. Their projects focus on social constructs of music and organised sound, like the pageantry and politics of opera, gender dynamics of bass, colors and tones of militarisation, migration patterns of instruments, and the complexities of translation in all this—from language to language, from score to sound, from drum to dance.

Alya Al-Sultani is a dramatic soprano, composer of opera and producer based in London. Apart from working on her own projects, Alya enjoys debuting new music for contemporary composers and experimenting with opera, including the integration of improvisation, extended vocal techniques and Middle Eastern influences. Her full-length opera, Two Sisters, with English and Arabic libretto, set on the border between two Middle Eastern countries in 2014, is currently in R&D, supported by Britten Pears and the Genesis Foundation.

Khabat Abas is an experimental cellist, improviser, and composer born in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, whose work reflects on the socio-political concept. and also, her work has been inspired by noise, improvisation, classical music, contemporary music and narrative story. Embodiment, materiality and sound research are tangible in Khabat’s work, where she began with the acoustic cello, then the prepared cello, and recently with the adapted cello. In her practice, she questions what is out of the bounds that raise the possibilities. Therefore, she considers herself a rule-breaker, moving freely between artistic disciplines and possibilities with a focus on the cello making the instrument into a different material.


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