The Rise and fall
The artists build a fourteen-meter long stage that invites the audience to walk high above the orchestra pit. As individuals move along – the floor rises and falls – footsteps are choreographed by shoes that accompany the teetering levels of the space and sound.
Record players at either end of the structure respond to the movements of its inhabitants, as each has to negotiate the other’s balance in order to play the music. The viewer thus becomes performer for the duration of the opera-installation, in which the artists experiment with negotiation in relation to dependence and equality.
The following is my libretto that Hassan Hilmy then translated into Arabic.
BBC Report on the “shifting territory, shifting ground” described by the rise and Fall
New York Times report “Biennale Amid the Souks and the Arab Spring”
During the three months of the Marrakech Biennale The Rise and fall tests the observation that states act like individuals by experimenting with the negotiation of equality. As you move along a fourteen-meter long structure that invites you to walk high above the orchestra pit and stage, the floor rises and falls beneath you, and you have to find a balance, mutually, with your fellow viewers. But how long can you hold the sole position of the greatest comfort and enjoy the kaleidoscopic view of the show in the white cube below?
BIENNALE CATALOGUE Chan, Carson and Nadim Samman (Eds), Higher Atlas/Au-delà de l’Atlas, Berlin, Sternberg Press, 2012.
February workshops at Internat pour la scolarisation de la jeune fille rurale Marrakech
Click here to listen to Side B of the Album
The track begins with Laila Madous singing a Berber song.
In unison the girls then sing a lullaby, songs of freedom, a French song Laila Madous knows, and the Moroccan anthem.
These are afterwards mixed with music by Tamara Friebel, an improvisation with Gnawa recordings I made in Jama’ al-Fna.
I also record the girls reading poems that they have written about Marrakech in a preparatory workshop with Julie Klear. Some are illustrated in the second workshop, for instance a poem about Jama’ al-Fna square, including the al-halqa performance circles that have inspired my work here. On the second day of the workshop the girls’ task after listening to their recording is to design covers for the album we have created together from their songs, poems and recitals.
Click here to listen to the songs sung Compositions by Tamara Friebel, recordings by Khadija.