9 – 19 June 2022 in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Düsseldorf, Cologne + Essen

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Air Pressure: A Diary of the Sky

The sky above Lebanon is filled with noise. Lawrence Abu Hamdan spent an entire year gathering data and videos of fighter jets and drones. He presents the results of his research vividly and clearly, underscored by an ear-numbing tapestry of noise. An audio-visual essay about acoustic insecurity as a tool of oppression.

11.06.22 19:00–19:50 Ticket Schedule

Ringlokschuppen Ruhr
Language: English

© Christian Schuller
© Christian Schuller
© Christian Schuller

The artist stand holding a microphone in front of a video projection of shaky mobile phone footage: “May 2020. 147 incursions into Lebanese air space. Total flight time: 511 hours and 45 minutes. 176 million decibels of noise.” Every month since 2006, the Lebanese Ministry of Defence has delivered statistics on incursions into Lebanese airspace to the United Nations. Fighter planes circle overhead and drones follow the covert movements of Hezbollah. And everywhere there is the hum of diesel generators because there are frequent power cuts due to corruption.

The noise tells us a lot about the present political situation in Lebanon – often more than official sources are willing to reveal. Lawrence Abu Hamdan talks of „atmospheric violence:“ the noise disturbs people and makes them ill. For the population at large, this constant sound in the background is as accustomed as it is deadly.

“Stimulating and intelligent: intense and unsettling.” (Nachtkritik)


Director, voice: Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Live Sound Design: Mohammad Choucair
Live video, Scenography and research: Nabla Yahya


A co-production by Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main, and Frankfurt LAB for ‘This Is Not Lebanon. Festival for Visual Arts, Performance, Music and Talks’, an element of the project ‘Architecture of the Mal-tempered Environment (AT)’ which was developed as part of the ‘2022 Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media’, a joint project between Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. The research was partly funded by Art Research Sound, a research project under the direction of Prof. Peter Kiefer, Mainz School of Music, Gutenberg Research College, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz.


In his works, Lawrence Abu Hamdan examines the intersection between sonic and political phenomena. His acoustic investigations, which he has undertaken solo and together with other members of the research group Forensic Architecture have sometimes been presented as evidence before the British courts in asylum and migration cases. He completed a PhD at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, London, in 2017 and has been a Fellow of the Gray Centre for Arts and Inquiry at the University of Chicago and of the Vera List Centre for Art and Politics at the New School in New York City. Abu Hamdan has presented works at the 58th Venice Biennale, at Tate Modern and at MoMA. In 2019 he created a provisional collective together with the other nominated artists, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani, in order to receive the Turner Prize jointly.