A group exhibition in video format which imagines the different ways in which music can be a force of social aggregation. Music is mobilized in these videos in various realms—religious, cultural, political—in ways that highlight its intense power to facilitate collective celebration, remembrance, or even protest.
Yael Bartana’s (b. 1970, Israel) When Adar Enters (2003) portrays the ubiquitous music and honking car horns that fill the small Israeli town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, during the festival of Purim.
For Pulheim Jam Session (2015), Johanna Billing (b. 1973, Sweden) invites the residents of Pulheim, Germany – a small town with an unusually high auto population – to band together to stage a traffic jam, accompanied by Swedish singer Edda Magnason’s lyrical improvisation on grand piano.
Jeremy Deller (b. 1966, United Kingdom), an artist known for organizing numerous parades, processions, and other collective actions that bring together contrasting swathes of English culture, presents English Magic (2013), the hypnotic video he created as an integral part of his installation for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
In his work Waltz of the Machine Equestrians (2012), UuDam Tran Nguyen (b. 1971, Vietnam) gathered 28 motorcyclists to “dance” together to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2, Waltz No. 2, donning medical masks and a rainbow of ponchos on newly developed lands against the backdrop of the sky of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City.
UuDam Tran Nguyen, Waltz of the Machine Equestrians, 2012 (still). Video, color, sound; 4 minutes, 34 seconds. Courtesy of the artist