multimedia artwork looks at the Cronulla race riots in Sydney in December 2005: an event
in which mass media –particularly
radio talk shows– propelled
and ultimately ignited confrontations. It also looks at the opera Armida, a
tale that first
appeared in the Crusade epic narration Jerusalem
Delivered published in 1581.
Armida is a Syrian warrior sorceress who falls in love
with Rinaldo, a European knight conflicted by her beauty, mystery and
sensuousness. Her character is a
misleading allegory of the Muslim world: irrational, exotic, and ridden with
installation is comprised of 17th century musical scores and opera costumes sketches from the opera Armida, intervened with
textual quotes from news radio broadcasts around the
Cronulla riots. Also, I prepared a radio show, with different versions of Armida from 1707 to 1904,
broadcast by Fine Music Sydney on December 2018; and a video work made in collaboration with Hazeen, a
self-declared “Muslim black-death metal group” from Western Sydney, in which the aria Come, come unrelenting
Jean Baptiste Lully Armide version of 1686 was reinterpreted.
Regardless that both Armida and Armida are four hundred years
apart from each other, there is a strikingly similar
message: “The siege is
real”, “They have come to change our ways”, “How hateful can it be”.
This work was exhibited at C3 Contemporary, Melbourne (2019).
Installation views at C3 gallery, Melbourne, 2019.
Photographies by Aaron Christopher Rees.
Quatre actes avant, 2019.
watercolour paper, 420×297mm.
Image: Armide: tragedie: œuvre
XVIII, Nouvelle Edition. Paris: Jean-Baptiste-Christophe Ballard, 1725. Text: Australian
Communications and Media Authority Investigation Report No. 1485 (9.12.2005 broadcast).