The Liquid Reader, Street Sessions
Rana Hamadeh

Walks and readings

22.06.2019 – 21.12.2019

The Liquid Reader Street Sessions involve an open-air study-trajectory and syllabus that Hamadeh will be designing and activating as part of Opaque Justice: A Dialectics of Rerouting—a ‘playground’ dedicated to the practice of ‘testimonial life’ in the place of legal subjecthood. The upcoming session will be the first of four walks organised in collaboration with Rib, Rotterdam. It will include an eclectic reading of works around desire, translation and errantry, alongside readings of shop windows, car numbers, pigeons and the weather.

Opaque Justice: A Dialectics of Rerouting both evokes and diverges from Édouard Glissant’s phrasing in his book Poetics of Relation (1990) in order to think of an ‘ethics of justice’ that is neither inscribed in, nor predicated upon, structures of property and ownership. For Glissant, opacity is the foundation of a relation that recognises the irreducibility of singularity into a universal model. As he notes, to live in relation—a disindividuated relation—is to return to the opacities that “ … produce every exception, [are] propelled by every divergence, and live … with the reflected density of existences.” Glissant’s use of the word ‘détournement’, translated into English by translator Betsy Wing as ‘rerouting’ (rather than ‘detour’), invokes incessant movement in search of relation, or, better say, a movement that is constantly manifesting itself of and in relation. The translated term, ‘rerouting’, according to Wing, implies an ‘active change of direction, but also a ‘turning away, or aside in a redirection of, or in refusal to direct attention’.

The first edition of the iterative project Opaque Justice: A Dialectics of Rerouting was launched in May 2019 at silent green Kulturquartier, Berlin as the 24th edition of Dutch Art Institute’s (DAI) Roaming Assembly—a recurring public symposium functioning as the ‘centerfold’ event at DAI’s Planetary Campus. It encompassed contributions by Ramon Amaro, Layal Ftouni, Ayesha Hameed, Sebastian de Line, Renée Ridgway, WALTER books and the participants of the Justice Economy: Dramaturgies of Debt and Indebtedness Factory workshop, led by Hamadeh, also in the context of the Planetary Campus. This ‘reader-on-the-move’, located in the residential south of Rotterdam, will scale down the level of public enquiry present in the first edition by putting into practice the incessant exchange of bodies and words, working with language and translation as an attempt to effect relations through movement.

Rana Hamadeh (1983, LB) is a visual and performance artist based in Rotterdam. Drawing on a curatorial approach within her artistic practice, she develops longstanding discursive projects that think through the linguistic, legal and performative infrastructures and technologies of justice. In 2011, she initiated her ongoing Alien Encounters Project, which has since been operating as an incubator for a growing series of cartographic/theatrical, sound and text-based works, examining systemic corporate and state violence and their enabling legal apparatuses. Since 2017, Hamadeh has been developing an ‘Operatic practice’, experimenting with writing and composing, and testing out models for collective thinking and study. Hamadeh is the recipient of the Dutch Prix de Rome, 2017. Her previous solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Winterthur (2019), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam, 2017), The Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane, 2016), Showroom (London, 2016), Nottingham Contemporary (2015) and Western Front (2015) among others. Group exhibitions include a.o. Sonic Acts (Amsterdam), SALT (Istanbul), Momentum Nordic Biennale, the Moscow Biennial, the New Museum (NY), e-flux (NY), the 8th Liverpool Biennial, Wattis Institute (San Francisco), the 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lisson Gallery (London), and Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven).