From Ear to Ear to Eye

16 Dec 2017 – 4 Mar 2018

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Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Any bus to Nottingham City Centre
  • Lace Market Tram Stop
  • Nottingham Station
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Sounds and Stories from Across the Arab World


From Ear to Ear to Eye is an exhibition that explores sound, music and listening in myriad forms. It traces the acoustic lives of different cities and places across the Arab world, bringing together almost 20 artists and researchers working in the region and elsewhere. Comprising installation, sculpture, photography, video and sound, the exhibition considers how recording and translation can map memories and migration, territories and conflicts. With a title borrowed from a text by the artist Anna Boghiguian, the exhibition assembles graphic scores and field recordings, poetry and acoustic analysis, alongside much else.

Many of the artists in From Ear to Ear to Eye are also musicians, run record labels or are engaged with research into the connections between politics and sound. The exhibition presents a wide range of perspectives on complex questions of harmony and violence, traversing very different cities, practices and experiences. It moves from folk music at the dawn of modern Turkey to radio broadcasts in Palestine, from a bird’s-eye view of the Egyptian Revolution’s aftermath to the shifting urban fabric of present-day Beirut.

The Arab world is often relayed to us via images of catastrophe, such as the refugee crisis, civil war, terrorism and humanitarian disaster. From Ear to Ear to Eye is about what might not be possible to comprehend through images alone. Sound and music emerge as tools of power and resistance, as ways to silence as well as to give voice. The exhibition is an argument for the importance of listening, as much as looking.

Participating artists include: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Etel Adnan, Haig Aivazian, Mounira Al Solh, Basma Alsharif, Ziad Antar, Marwa Arsanios, Ania Dabrowska, Malak Helmy, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Hiwa K, Jumana Manna, Joe Namy, Setareh Shahbazi, Raed Yassin and Shirin Yousefi.

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Ziad Antar

Basma Alsharif

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Setareh Shahbazi

Malak Helmy

Etel Adnan

Mounira Al Solh

Hiwa K

Shirin Yousefi

Jumana Manna

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

Joe Namy

Marwa Arsanios

Haig Aivazian

Ania Dabrowska abrowska

Ania Dabrowska abrowska

Raed Yassin


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