Mao-Hope March Revisited (2009) 

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Rabab Ghazoul


Artist: Rabab Ghazoul

SD Video; 4:3; colour; sound
00:09.58 | 2009

Mao-Hope March Revisited is a restaging of Oyvind Fahlstrom’s 1966 film and performance work ‘Mao Hope March’, in which a group of men and women marched through the streets of New York in the summer of 1966 carrying placards emblazoned with the faces of Mao-Tse Tung and Bob Hope, whilst passers by were asked if they considered themselves to be happy. The subsequent 16mm film work documented both the march and the public’s responses to it.

In December 2009, Rabab Ghazoul invited members of the public to update the figures of Mao and Hope for a contemporary re-staging of Fahlstrom’s march through the streets of Cardiff city centre. The subsequent digital video work documented both the march and the public’s responses to it.

Rabab Ghazoul

Born in Mosul, Iraq, Rabab Ghazoul has lived and worked in Cardiff, Wales, since 1993. She is a visual artist, interested in exploring the performative and conversational, in the context of our negotiations of the political. In a practice that spans galleries and the public realm, her projects draw on participatory processes to explore the nuances of private and public affiliation - the impacts of wider (political) frameworks upon the personal, or the daily.

Ghazoul’s artworks often make reference to found footage or existing ‘texts’, from a news media interview to an existing artwork, as a means of revisiting or re-staging recent historical ‘moments’. Drawing on different media and processes - video, installation, text, performance, public realm intervention and encounter - much of her practice emerges in response to spaces of dialogue, indeed artworks often take the form of conversation pieces, lasting a day or a year.

Within her wider practice – which sees her organising events, performances, debates, walks, gatherings, sung works - Ghazoul’s activities are drawn to exploring spaces which rethink our understanding of notions such as ‘democracy’, ‘community’, ‘belonging’.

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