A Project by Tamara Al-Mashouk
Composed spaces by Sami El-Enany
Counterpoints Arts, Dover Arts Development, Shubbak Festival, Frieze No.9 Cork Street, Arts Council England
I’d search forever, I want to remember is a multidisciplinary body of work that asks if matter and place remember the way our bodies do. The work is lead by Tamara Al-Mashouk and presented by Counterpoints Arts, Dover Arts Development, Shubbak Festival and Frieze No.9 Cork Street.
Following a site-specific presentation in Dover the work was shown at No.9 Cork Street for four days.
I presented two multichannel compositions as part of the show. The first piece, set in a casemate built in the 1800’s on the cliffs of Dover is a six channel composition fully spatialised for the site. In the same room a wave machine containing water from the English Channel was brought in as witness. The sonics are centred in love and solidarity for all those that seek and have sought sanctuary. My anger at the injustice and cruelty of the border regime manifests as a desire to hold the humanity and pain of those who make dangerous journeys out of a human desire to live and better one’s life. Within the composition are over two thousand hand crafted sonic reflections (for each the starting point was a grain of rice bouncing off the strings of a uniquely tuned and prepared hammered dulcimer).
In the next room is a three channel video piece exploring the psyche of an abandoned detention centre. My sonic materials for this room are faint atmospheric events in VLF radio bands captured first-hand with magnetic antenna, as well as extremely faint vibrations in the material and soil captured by a geophone. The intention here is to expose the way in which sites of state violence, such as detention centres and prisons, hold a residue of that violence while at the same time alluding to the pain felt in the earth of the site itself. They are haunted locations, their walls embedded with the fear, anxiety, depression and hope of their inhabitants. The work hopes for a time when nature will reclaim all such sites of state violence.
Both composed spaces become interrelated sonic environments for a meditation on remembering. Thank you Tamara for the opportunity to sink into these feelings and help tell this story with you.
Incorporating a three-channel film of a disused refugee detention centre, a photographic series that engages with the shoreline as a site of poetic multiplicity and a wave machine containing water from the English Channel, I’d search forever, I want to remember continues Al-Mashouk’s exploration of sites of solace and memory, and spaces of collective healing against the backdrop of the refugee crisis. Artefacts created during workshops in Dover were displayed, and a dance performance by Fadi Giha featuring the spatialised score by Sami El-Enany took place on the opening night.
The work presented is the result of a gathering of artists thinking and organising together. Manon Schwich, Sami El-Enany, Parker Heyl, Angus Frost, Lorella Bianco, Fadi Giha and Patricia Doors join Al-Mashouk in considering sites of solace within embodied experiences of hyper-politicisation.