February 22 — March 29, 2014
"no man can ever truly be secure until he has been forsaken by Fortune"
Boethius The Consolation of Philosophy, 524 AD
Annabel Daou’s text based drawings are worked with ink directly onto mending tape which is either exhibited as a scroll or unfurled onto paper. The language, written both in English and Arabic, is structured around historical depictions of the “Wheel of Fortune” such as its four directions in medieval art: I shall reign, I reign, I have reigned, I am without a kingdom. They address the fragile twists and turns of life and inquire into the desire for possession and security which is driving our culture but which is always thrown into question by fortune (that blind goddess who stands upon an ever-rolling stone—Shakespeare). The text is drawn in a series of intersecting and twisting lines that relate to the metaphorical line of life which is spun, measured and cut by the fates.
In addition to the text based drawings, Annabel Daou will bring her ongoing performance project Fortune to her exhibition at Conduit Gallery. Developed in 2013 and performed in different contexts and locations, Daou positions herself in the role of a fortune-teller. Members of the public are solicited to partake in an intimate exchange in which they present their palms and have their fortunes transcribed onto paper. The reading/writing is entirely silent and the participant is handed their written fortune to read and keep. The process involves exchanging a line of text for a line in the hand. The work inquires into questions of trust, intimacy and the role of the artist as intermediary between our expectations and our personal histories. It takes into account the public view of the artist as someone who uses intuition to absorb (or “read”) the present moment and then reflect it back to the public. In 2013, Fortune was performed at spaces including; White Box, NYC, S2A, NYC and MOMA PS1, NYC.
Annabel Daou was born and raised in Beirut, during the Lebanese Civil War. She moved to New York at age 18 to attend Barnard Collegeat Columbia University. Her recent exhibitions include: 12th Cairo Biennale (2010) (representing the U.S. for which she won the Biennial Award); The Drawing Room, London (2012); Osart Gallery, Milan, Italy (2011); On the Mark: Contemporary Works on Paper, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore (2010); Close Encounters 2, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York (2010); Political / Minimal, Kunstwerke, Berlin/Muzeum Sztuki w Lodzi, Lodz, Poland (2008/2009); knot, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence; New York New Drawings 1946-2007, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia, Spain (2009); Democracy in America, The Park Avenue Armory, New York (2008).