JOSEPH NAMY    work . exhibitions . radio . contact




stones gods people

2016, performance / video


stones gods people is based on a performance that was intended to take place in the Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut - an archaeological park that is currently a frozen space, inaccessible because of political entanglement surrounding the land - a symptom of strangling neoliberal confessional power dynamics.

The opera is a rumination on these frozen spaces, contemporary ruins and our connection to archaeological and historical sites.

The video is based on research for the opera:
stones gods people begins with the last two lines of the essay film "Statues Also Die" made in 1953 by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, one of the first anti-colonial films. In stones the poetics of Statues are re-edited over images taken from the National Museum of Beirut. This is a vanishing museum, stones made blank by the winds here, by the rumbling storms of private generators in the shadow of political posters, and water trucks, a flood of unsustainable development projects, by the overflow of trash, pieced together by vanished antiquities smuggled, returned apparitions.

Link for online video screener is available upon request.

It was first performed at SALT Galata in January 2016 as a solo performance. A second iteration was performed at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin in February 2016 curated by Kelly Tsipni-Kolaza, a collaboration with experimental vocalist Ute Wassermann. Another iteration was performed in May 2018 with the vocalist Alya Al-Sultani at Gallery Lejuene.



The park where the original performance was meant to happen:



A still from the short video.



Documentation from a performance at HKW in February 2016 w/ Ute Wassermann.



An excerpt from the score for the opera.