2016 Program pt 1

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The Secret Handshake

The Secret Handshake

Marrian Abound

Opening 04.05.16 6-8pm
Artist Talks 26.05.16 6-7pm

This exhibition is part of an on going interest in mimetic theory. Aristotle, adapted the term to his idea that artistic pursuits, particularly tragic drama, mimic the people, places, and conditions that we find around us in the real world. The anthropologist Michael Taussig draws on Walter Benjamin’s ‘On the Mimetic Faculty’ (1933), describing the mimetic faculty as “the nature that culture uses to create second nature, the faculty to copy, imitate, make models, explore difference, yield into and become Other. The wonder of mimesis lies in the copy drawing on the character and power of the original, to the point whereby the representation may even assume that character and that power.” In particular, Taussig suggests that appearance is power and that the ‘duplicating power’ of image is also a self-transforming power and hence, is a power for healing: (Taussig 1993: 126).

Collaborating with my 5 sisters and brother in this artwork looking specifically at the rituals around death and mourning in the Lebanese culture, examining repertoire, modifications and adaptations of various rituals.


Marian Abboud is Western Sydney based artist working across disciplines in visual arts, performance, dance, installation and site-specific actions. Marian collaborates with community and audience to create multi-layered narrative driven artworks that challenges perceptions of identity, land and complex historical and cultural frameworks. Marian graduated with a BAVC from UWS in 2002 and has exhibited extensively locally and nationally.

Currently at The Parramatta Artist Studios, Marian was the recipient of the 2014-15 Parramatta Artist Fellowship, working towards an exhibition for 2017, Marian has traveled to Lebanon to complete an integral part to be included in the fellowship. The original proposal included her father in the work but unfortunately his passing in 2014 lead to a new direction for the work. The project draws upon personal experiences – of facing one’s mortality, ideas of faith and uncertainty.

In 2016 Marian worked on Mothers Spice for Art Month Sydney The project focuses on the uses spices as a trigger to unravel personal narratives and journeys of migration and refuge to Australia following the stories of four asylum seeker, migrant and refugee women from Sydney’s Western Suburbs.

Marian is currently the lead artist working on the Links to Learning program, produced at ICE The process is to engage disadvantaged youth from Western Sydney through art and experience, via love stories and dramas. Last year the program involved Marina Abramovic and Ulay, and this year the program will look at the love dramas of Bjork and Mathew Barney.

In 2015 Marian collaborated with indigenous choreographer Vicki Van Hout in 24Frames per Second at Carriageworks an interdisciplinary collaboration between art and performance on screen. The works draw upon the psychology of memory and the body as a political subject.

In 2016 Marian will be working on ‘We Dance’ with Vicki Van Hout at Carriageworks a cross-cultural video installation looking at the Aboriginal and Lebanese communities in Redfern at the turn of the century.

Marian Abboud is represented by The Parramatta Artists Studios, Sydney