Art Lovers Movie Club: Zarouhie Abdalian, ‘these are called holdings’


Shot along the Mississippi gulf coast and along the Mississippi River (upriver from New Orleans), these are called holdings depicts some of the petro-chemical and military complexes that dominate these places, commenting obliquely on their impact on the local population, many of whom rely on such places for employment.

A signalling bell accompanies each expanse, its peal decaying to reveal the ambient sound recorded at the site. Each toll rings out symbolically across the distance that separates the oilfields of Baku from the Port of South Louisiana, now joined together through modern commodity production. Abdalian is interested in the ways bells are used to ‘regulate the activities of social spaces – announcing the passing of hours, shift changes, festivals, calls to service, and emergencies – and become powerful mechanisms by which the listener is situated in space’.

Screening dates:
Zarouhie Abdalian, these are called holdings (2023)
17 March – 7 April 2023

Courtesy the artist, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London and Altman Siegel, San Francisco © Zarouhie Abdalian, 2023

About the artist:

Zarouhie Abdalian (b. 1982, New Orleans, Louisiana) lives and works in New Orleans. She is currently included in Put it This Way: (Re)Visions of the Hirshhorn Collection at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, an exhibition of work by women and nonbinary artists from the museum’s permanent collection. Abdalian has exhibited her work at numerous international venues and biennials, including San Francisco MoMA; Secession, Vienna; Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; 2017 Whitney Biennial; MOSTYN, Wales; the 5th Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg, Russia; MASS MoCA, North Adams;  Prospect.3 Biennial, New Orleans; the 8th Berlin Biennale; 9th Shanghai Biennale; CAFAM Biennale, Beijing; and the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Previous solo exhibitions include Haynes Court, Chicago (2022); Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2021); Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans (2018); LAXART, Los Angeles (2017); The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2017); and the Berkeley Art Museum and  Pacific Film Archive (2013). Abdalian was a 2017–2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee and 2020 recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her work is held in public collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San  Francisco MoMA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland; and Berkeley Art Museum.

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