Exploring the Present: Art by Basel Abbas and Ruanna Abou-Rahme

A multimedia work with images on a blue backgroundAnd yet my mask is powerful 2, 3D-printed masks, tables, corkboards, documents, images, drawings, books, tools, cardboard boxes, wooden pallet, bricks, dried plants, pine branches, burnt wood, log, rocks, house remains/foundations, broken ceramics, garbage, mini projections

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme are an artistic duo specializing in video installations and media works. The artists’ body of work revolves around exploring the present, using a wide variety of materials to address temporal and perceptual concerns.

An installation artwork with red neon text signsContingency, 4 channel sound installation 8', minimum 3 LED tickers, aluminum sheets


Abbas and Abou-Rahme’s works frequently take a documentarian approach, though what exactly is being documented is often obscured, or left deliberately in question. Many of the works take forms similar to the research documentation of Alinka Echeverria, with numerous seemingly disparate aesthetic moments collected together on digital bulletin boards or crowded onto a single page, allowing for connections to be made by the viewer.


I find the artists’ use of artistic relics and artefacts from eras past quite interesting in the context of their “present” work. It allows for an interesting internal dialogue as the viewer attempts to form their own connections between past and present, and between concept and imagery.

A photo of a room installation featuring a large screen projection and green lightAnd yet my mask is powerful, 5-channel video projection, 2-channel sound + subwoofer, tools, bricks, boards

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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