Intermissions: Nour Mobarak

Nour Mobarak, “Private Plug” score in Lampo Folio (2021), photos by Tony Chrenka.

  • Nour Mobarak, “Private Plug” score in Lampo Folio (2021), photos by Tony Chrenka.

  • Sat, Nov 12–Sun, Nov 13, 2022
    (This event has already happened.)


    At the Renaissance Society

    Register to attend

    Please note, audience members may come and go throughout each day’s three-hour performance, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

    In her performances, sound installations, and inventive works online, Nour Mobarak has turned to the human voice as her material and the moving body as a catalyst or instrument. In this newly commissioned work—unfolding on two consecutive days—Mobarak uses a real-time tracking system to trigger sounds and effects in response to her changing location within the Renaissance Society’s gallery space. What takes shape is a dynamic, immersive 8-channel performance of voice, electronics, and movement.

    During each day’s three-hour performance, the gallery becomes a site of live experimentation as she explores what this spatialized digital set-up can do. Through her movement in the demarcated space, she gradually activates this system in compounding, and sometimes confounding, ways.

    Along with her own vocal improvisations, Mobarak layers in many other voices, drawn from a large sound bank she has compiled. These samples include recordings of some of the most phonemically complex languages, such as !Xoon, Abkhaz, San Juan Quiahije Eastern Chatino, and Silbo Gomero—each one reflecting a much wider sonic palette than languages like English.

    This project is produced as a collaboration between the Renaissance Society and Lampo, and conceived as a momentary merging of the Ren’s Intermissions series and Lampo’s long-running performance series dedicated to experimental sound.

    Organized by Andrew Fenchel and Karsten Lund with Michael Harrison.

    NOUR MOBARAK (b. 1985, Cairo, Egypt), who lives and works in Los Angeles and Athens, Greece, works across sound, performance, video, sculpture, and writing. Her works have been exhibited at JOAN, Los Angeles; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; KIM? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga; Hakuna Matata Sculpture Garden, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Cubitt Gallery, London; and Rodeo Gallery, London. Her performances have taken place at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; LAXART, Los Angeles; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; Stadslimeit, Antwerp; and other venues. Mobarak’s music has been released by Recital (Los Angeles), Cafe Oto’s TakuRoku (London), and Ultra Eczema (Antwerp) and her poetry and other writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, F.R. David, The Claudius App, and the Salzburg Review.

    Intermissions launched in January 2017 as a new programming series devoted to ephemeral and performative works, staged in the Renaissance Society’s empty gallery in between exhibitions. This recurring platform presents two events every year, supporting a wide variety of live projects.

    Major annual support for the Renaissance Society is provided by 247 and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

    Additional support is provided by The MacArthur Fund for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at Prince and The Provost’s Discretionary Fund at the University of Chicago. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

    All Renaissance Society publications are made possible by The Mansueto Foundation Publications Program.

    The Study at University of Chicago is the Renaissance Society’s Exclusive Hotel Sponsor.