Nour Mobarak

The Renaissance Society

5811 South Ellis Avenue Cobb Hall, 4th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60637

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 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 Taa, Abkhaz, San Juan Quiahije Eastern Chatino, and Silbo Gomero—each one reflecting a much wider sonic palette than languages like English.

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.

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

Update: A year later, Nour reprised this performance under the title Co-Motion Single Field Instrument, organized by Western Front in November 2023.

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, the Salzburg Review and the Lampo Folio.

Presented in partnership with the Renaissance Society