Syntax and Society, the first volume, reflects on the exhibition premise that considered the structure and meaning of language and the role it plays in society, with a focus on the work of the three shortlisted artists: Danish playfully questions how language is structured by working with tongue-twisters and phrases from popular cinema; Khaled reflects on the relationship between artistic forms and political history to reconsider the representations of class and stereotypes in public space; and Mahmood deliberates on the notion of beginning and endings, from the sending of letters that are never received to situations where disused artefacts of one culture are newly adapted by another.
The second volume, Oh Shining Star Testify, focusses on the work of award-winning artist duo Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme. Their new video work commissioned for the prize, Only the beloved keeps our secrets, examines how modern-day technologies can enable a continued existence for the deceased. This book additionally includes a glossary of quotations from the various philosophical and literary writers that have informed this duo’s working process, as well as images from their previous trilogy of video and installation works.
This two-volume set is published on the occasion of the 2016 exhibition ‘Syntax and Society’ at Art Dubai. Nav Haq presents commentary to offer an insightful guide to the practices of these artists.
About the Editor
Nav Haq is Senior Curator at MuHKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp. He is Curator of the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2017, and was previously Exhibitions Curator at Arnolfini, Bristol, and Curator at Gasworks, London.
About the Publisher
Sternberg Press is a Berlin-based publishing house of art, cultural criticism, creative nonfiction and literary and experimental fiction. Founded by Caroline Schneider in New York in 1999, it aims to support both new and established writers and nourish lasting editorial relationships. The press is committed to publishing books with an interdisciplinary focus on contemporary visual culture and related critical discourse.