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only the beloved keeps our secret

Only The Beloved Keeps Our Secrets

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme 

Only The Beloved Keeps Our Secrets

The GalleryTyneside Cinema, is proud to present a new exhibition by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme Only the beloved keeps our secrets, a single channel video and sound work weaving together a fragmented script of images and sound sampled from online recordings of everyday ritual and performance (song and dance) and everyday erasures ambiguous landscapes and growing plants in an abandoned development.  The footage collected over the last five years mostly from Palestine appear as moving layers with images building density on top of each other, which obscure what came before in an accumulation of constant testament and constant erasure. 

Only the beloved keeps our secrets is structured around footage taken from an Israeli military surveillance camera.  On March 19, 2014, 14 year-old Yusuf-Shawamreh crossed the ‘separation fence’ erected by the Israeli military near Hebron. He was going to pick Akub, an edible plant that grows at high altitudes and blooms for only a short period of time – and a delicacy in Palestinian cuisine.  Israeli forces ambushed him and shot him dead.  After a court injunction the military surveillance footage was released and consequently circulated online.  Only the beloved keeps our secrets invites us to consider the forms of entanglement between the destruction of bodies and the erasure of images, and the conditions under which these same bodies and images might once again reappear.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work together across a range of sound, image, text, installation and performance practices.  They probe a contemporary landscape marked by seemingly perpetual crisis and an endless ‘present’, one that is increasingly shaped by a politics of desire and disaster they have developed a body of work that questions this suspension of the present and searches for ways in which an altogether different imaginary can emerge.  In their projects, they find themselves excavating, activating and inventing incidental narratives, figures, gestures and sites as material for re-imagining the possibilities of the present.  Often reflecting on the idea of returns, amnesia and déjà vu, they reveal the slippages between actuality and projection. 

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b.1983) in Nicosia, Cyprus and Boston they live and work between Ramallah and New York.  They have exhibited and performed internationally and founded the sound and image performance group Tashweesh.  Solo exhibitions include The Incidental Insurgents, ICA (Philadelphia, 2015); Office for Contemporary Art (Oslo, 2015); and Akademie Der Kuenste Der Welt (Cologne, 2014); The Zone, New Art Exchange (Nottingham, 2011); and Collapse, Delfina Foundation (London, 2009).

Preview and artist talk 9th September 2016 – Preview free. Talk: £2.50 available from

Exhibition: 10th September – 24th October 2016.


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