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Lawrence Abu Hamdan's 2019 video resides in a two-room gallery in Bait al-Serkal, one of the dozens of spaces currently housing the exhibitions of Sharjah Art Biennial 14, "Beyond the Echo Chamber".The conversation is informed, in part, by how Lebanese of Bassel and Abu Hamdan's generation tend to be ill-informed about the 1975-90 conflict because discussion of the war was repressed when they were growing up in the '90s.Bassel's collection of war memorabilia seems to speak to the work of other artists -- variously dubbed "the '90s generation," who came of age during the Civil War, or "the archive generation," for their work's referencing (and critique of) archival practices.Written and performed by Rabih Mroue and Lina Majdalani (nee Saneh) the work is premised on the recollections of four Lebanese fighters of various ideologies and communities, who spent the Civil War repeatedly fighting, dying and resurrecting, only to fight and die for another side.As the work of the "archive generation" testifies, though, conflict can be daunting source material.Aesthetically the work is electronic landscape art, denuded of conflict.
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