|Collaborators||Brick Lane Jamme Masjid community|
|Inclusive Mosque Initiative|
Assembly is a site-specific research project made in collaboration with Brick Lane Jamme Masjid community, Jamaat (2018) (translated from Arabic meaning assembly) was made and exhibited respecting the religious and cultural rules of the mosque. The mechanical recording device was used as an anonymous eye; in a culturally sensitive environment such as the mosque, the objectivity of the machine allowed entry to a place that is forbidden for a female non-Muslim.
The camera was not permitted to film in front of the people praying, nor could it show their faces. Subsequently, an automated rig was constructed to film from above, at a constant speed from the entrance to the Mihrab. The pre-recorded footage of the Jamaat prayer was then projected back into the architectural space using the same automated device. The controlled motorisation of the projection mirrors the movement of the recorded image, which gave the effect of only the frame moving through physical space, constantly revealing and concealing the actual site below. The projected image appeared to be multi-layered, as the image of the carpet mapped with the real carpet, whereas the bodies in prayer became ghostly illusions.
Jamaat questioned how the projected image relates to the real space and how the experience of the real space was mediated by the image. Both installations brought forth a very precise relationship between body and space, helped by the fact that the people it addressed are coming to worship and therefore invested in the place. It could be argued that there is already a form of site-integrity in the mosque because of the religious and social practices that happen there. How much are the religious practices responsible for defining a mosque?
Jamaat found a way to connect and engage the prayer spaces, allowing access for men and women to both sites. Each installation functioned as a self-making apparatus, in turn, making a broader argument about the triumph of lived space over representational space. At the end of the residency, the Jamme Masjid invited the general public into the main prayer hall and female prayer room, providing an opportunity for Muslims and non-Muslims to experience Jamaat first hand via the site-performances.
Jamaat was made using site-integrity, an interdisciplinary and process-driven research practice that questions the material, political and sensory representation of place. It is a site-specific and collaborative practice that builds direct social relationships with new audiences specific to the site. The research is essentially a performance art practice, exploring the comprehension of space as dualistically experienced and represented.
In order to explore the success of this proposed working methodology, this research seeks to answer the following questions:
• - How do relationships to sites affect the making and reception of the work?
• - How effective is this working methodology, and how do we evaluate it?
• - How can the differing interests of collaborators be shared meaningfully and productively?
• - Who will benefit from the findings in the wider community?
|Date||24 Oct 2018|