Six questions for
Annabel Daou

Tique asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Annabel Daou.

Artist Annabel Daou
Lives in New York, NY

How do you describe your own art practice?

As an effort to suspend or carve out or record the language of our daily lives. I’m interested in shattered hierarchies, whether between people, processes, or expectations. I feel like my materials are the weight of words, the very small exchanges in our lives, a little tear in the fabric, a punctured piece of paper, the worn out color of copper.

Which question or theme is central in your work?

How we live together and alone. How interactions with others and with objects change us. What it means to join others in being together without necessarily trying to be understood, but to be heard as one of many, protected and revealed by the numerous.

Much of my work is an interaction or an exchange with members of the public. Often I ask people to answer a question or complete a sentence, as with WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS. The language in the piece comes from people completing the sentence, “When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to…” In my performance work I am interested in questions of trust, intimacy and power. In my long running project Fortune I took on the role of a fortune teller and wrote people’s fortunes silently, a line of text for a line in their hand. In “I will worry for you from dawn till dusk,” people entrusted me with their worries and I paced the hall of my apartment for 12 hours, overnight, with worry beads in my hand and people’s worries on my mind.

What was your first experience with art?

A 1970s order catalog of posters of works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that my parents had in their bookstore in Beirut where I grew up. I suppose they used it (or intended to) to order posters to sell in the bookshop.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Walking through the city. Flipping a quarter.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Usually, I need a small struggle, a mistake, or a crooked thing that I then use as a starting point to bring something into being. In some ways, my work is always about the repair. And I need a language that I can repeat to myself over and over without losing interest in hearing the same words again and again.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

Just before I began answering these questions, I found out that Dan Graham died. I have never been overly interested in his work although I appreciate and admire it, but someone posted his “One Puzzle” from 1966 on Instagram just now and I was both moved by it and surprised since I saw it while I was taking a break from making a work that is all about the word “one.”

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