Media: Blu-ray video projection, double stereo audio
Duration: 09:27 loop
The audio-video Tour embarks on a global journey contemplating arguably ‘healed’ sites of late nineteenth- and twentieth-century genocidal massacres.
Murambi, Rwanda (April 16–22, 1994)
Choeung Ek, Cambodia (April 17, 1975–January 7, 1979)
Treblinka, Poland (July 23, 1942–October 19, 1943)
Wounded Knee, United States (December 29, 1890)
Events that occurred over the last century retain heat: some victims and perpetrators are still alive; justice, truth and reconciliation processes continue. Yet when we look, what do we not see? Human atrocities are easily absorbed, literally, back into the land. But the brutal facts remain. It is only through the persistent retelling of past events that we can keep these histories alive and sustain the memory of what has become invisible, even as acts of atrocity continue to be perpetrated in the present.
Grappling with how such horrific histories can possibly be represented, and how to maintain the critical specificity of the local within a narrative about the global, Tour engages intimately with each place. As the viewer traverses the land, what initially appear as harmless, even banal, details of local flora take on a much more haunting and menacing presence as the sorrowful vocalization unfolds and the location is revealed. The audio component simultaneously collaborates with and challenges the visual to both lull and jar the listener/viewer. Based on traditional lullabies*, the songs are hummed and chanted without lyrics. These are lullabies that may have been sung and heard over generations by the victims of these genocides. In some of the contexts, these were also crooned by the perpetrators.
*Traditional Music Sources
Bom Pe (Khmer)
Zolst Azoy Lebn (Yiddish)