Excerpt / The Oakland based sound, sculpture and installation artist Zarouhie Abdalian’s work uses silence and invisibility to push the outer reaches of perception, often in dialogue with the location of her work. The artist’s first museum exhibition features three new works that variously deconstruct the American civil rights-era song “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, which was famously covered by Peter, Paul and Mary, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops and many others. THe main refrain expresses the power of three tools, a hammer, a bell and a song, which the lyrics proclaim represent justice, freedom and love. For the exhibition, Abdalian builds her own hammer, bell and song. Each of these works is displayed with a limit or an omission, perhaps to indicate that the struggle which motivated Seeger and Hays in 1949 is still ongoing.
— “Zarouhie Abdalian: Matrix 249” The Wire, October 2013, p. 71
Zarouhie Abdalian: Matrix 249 at the BAM/PFA#Essays/Reviews
DATE October 2013