Tarek Atoui. Waters’ Witness

Tarek Atoui. Waters’ Witness

Tarek Atoui’s (b. 1980, Beirut) work inhabits the intersection of visual and sound arts. Known for his sonic installations and performances, Atoui privileges a sensory approach along with an investigative process that embraces history, anthropology, ethnology and musicology. He considers sound to be a catalyst for human interaction leading him to collaborate with other musicians, as well as researchers and musical instrument makers.

The exhibition Waters’ Witness, presented in Mudam Grand Hall and the Park Dräi Eechelen, is based on the ongoing project I/E Atoui initiated in 2015. Drawing upon research made in collaboration with the musicians and composers Chris Watson and Eric La Casa, Atoui uses sound recordings to document the human, ecological, historical and industrial realities of coastal cities that have a past rooted in their docklands, such as Athens, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Beirut and Porto. Working in close proximity to or under the water, Atoui uses various recording techniques to capture the sounds of the sea and docks, and materials such as metal, stone and wood.

The first iteration of Waters’ Witness, which took place at the Fridericianum in Kassel in 2020, saw the first two I/E harbours (Athens, 2015 and Abu Dhabi, 2017) merge in an exhibition for the first time. In Athens, the sounds he captured seemed ‘hazy, as if wrapped in cotton’. In contrast, the port of Abu Dhabi, filled with construction materials, steel and pipes, delivered ‘bright, sharp and clear sounds’. These two atmospheres were perceptible within the installation via the materials collected in these port cities, now on view at Mudam. The marble blocks from Athens and steel beams from Abu Dhabi are treated as landscape features, but also serve as elements capable of physically transmitting sound that visitors are invited to interact with through touch.

Another integral part of the artist’s practice is the making of instruments, i...

Useful information


Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
3 Park Dräi Eechelen


From Saturday 24.09.2022 to Sunday 05.03.2023


Erwachsene, Adults, Adultes 8 €
Mittwochs 18h00–22h00, Wednesday 18h00–21h00, Mercredi de 18h00–22h00 0 €
– 26 Jahre, Gruppen (min. 15 Personen), – 26 years & groups (min. 15 persons), – 26 ans & groupes (min. 15 personnes) 5 €
Kulturpass, Kulturpass, Kulturpass 0 €
– 21 Jahre, – 21 years, – 21 ans 0 €
Studierende – 26 Jahre, Students – 26 years, Étudiants – 26 ans 0 €


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