The exhibition bears the name of a larger, ongoing project co-commissioned by MoMA and Dia Art Foundation, which also exists as an online platform where many videos can be accessed through a digital index. In both the physical exhibition and online index, we see incidents of Israeli soldiers attacking a crowd of protestors, or bulldozers destroying homes. But this collection also includes glimpses of life that manifest in dance and song, in breath and rhythm, in walks and drives, offering perspectives from an angle that only a flower might possess.
Abbas and Abou-Rahme have been collaborators for years, working across sound, installation, mixed media, and sculpture. Their compositions stem from a poetic eruption, a kind of shuddering of the land. Only sounds that tremble through us, the exhibition’s main installation, is a multichannel sound and video work that spans across the four walls of the museum’s Kravis Studio. Panels of poured concrete and scaffolds resemble the construction of the Israeli apartheid wall and act as projection screens on which the images hover. Multi-layered, adjacent walls and components create a feeling of choreography, pulling the viewer’s eyes across the space. The superimposition of images, sound, poetic texts (in both Arabic and English) are a signature of Abbas and Abou-Rahme’s collaborative practice. Found footage of dancers are mixed in with videos of new performances developed in collaboration with choreographer and dancer Rima Baransi, and electronic musicians Makimakkuk, Haykal, and Julmud. These scenes offer a poignant focus on music and dance as breath, anchoring them to the backdrop of our lands. They affirm life amid the constant violence of occupation, which we witness through glimpses of the destruction of homes by Israeli bulldozers.