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
passion. Armida’s history has been central to more than ten
different operas: the first, by Monteverdi, in 1627; the last, by British
composer Judith Weir, in 2005.
installation is comprised of historical images, hand written musical scores and
opera costumes sketches from different versions of Armida, intervened with
textual quotes from radio and television news shows broadcast around the
Cronulla riots. With Hazeen collaboration, a
self-declared “Muslim black-death metal group” from Sydney, I reinterpreted the aria Come, come unrelenting
Jean Baptiste Lully Armide version of 1686. As radio was a key component
during the riots, I prepared a special program with different versions of
from Handel in 1707 to Dvořák in 1904, broadcast by radio station Fine Music 102.5 on December 2018.
Regardless that both Armida and Armida are four hundred years
apart from each other there is a strikingly similar
: “The siege is
real”, “They have come to change our ways”, “How hateful can it be”. This installation delves into
asymmetries of race, gender and religion
between the West and the Muslim world can be exaggerated and manipulated, but also subverted.
Installation views at C3 gallery, Melbourne, 2019.
Photographies by Aaron Christopher Rees.
Unrelenting hate, 2019 (stil)
video, sound, colour, 4min. 44 sec.
In collaboration with Hazeen
(Safdar Ahmed and Can Yalcinkaya), Bernando Hernández, and Daz Chandler.