Assembly: performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces

Marsh, J. Assembly: performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces.

CreatorsMarsh, J.
CollaboratorsBirmingham Central Mosque
Brick Lane Jamme Masjid
Inclusive Mosque Initiative
Description

Assembly is a body of work and ongoing research, which performs the materiality of Muslim prayer space. Assembly is a series of site-specific installations, comprising of 1:1 scaled moving floor projections with 5.1-surround sound. As the audience enters each prayer site the projection is activated, revealing a pre-recorded film of congregational prayer. The controlled motorisation of the projection re-traces the movement of the recorded image, giving the effect of only the frame moving through physical space, constantly revealing and concealing the actual site below. The digital moving image hovers improbably above its ‘real’ counterpart, providing an opportunity to experience prayer in situ, via the site-performance.

Previous research into Muslim sites of worship has mostly been conducted as theological and sociological studies, which neglect to acknowledge the performativity of Muslim prayer. Assembly aims to address this through a series of site-specific artworks that directly engage with the materiality of site. Each site-specific artwork is made in collaboration with the community, respecting the religious and cultural rules of each specific site. Assembly has been made and exhibited in two Mosques, Birmingham Central Mosque in 2016 and Brick Lane Mosque in London 2018/9.

Salat (2016) was made by and for Birmingham Central Mosque congregation. Salat (2016) brings forth a precise relationship between body and space, helped by the fact that the people it addresses are coming to worship and therefore invested in the place. The congregation question how their projected image of self relates to the real space and how the experience of the real is mediated by the image.
Made in collaboration with Brick Lane Jamme Masjid community, Jamaat (2018) (translates from Arabic meaning assembly) comprises of two simultaneous installation, one in the main prayer hall and one in the female prayer room. Jamaat (2018) has found a way to connect and engage the prayer spaces, allowing access for men and women to both sites. As this research project has evolved the relationship between the two prayer spaces has become a fundamental aspect of the work. 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 Jumu'ah prayer first hand via the site-performances.

Site-integrity is a term coined by Julie Marsh during her practice-based PhD at London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London. It is now used as a working methodology bringing specialists from different fields together to explore the integrity to each site of investigation. Site-integrity is 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.

Web address (URL)http://www.site-integrity.com
Keywordssite-specific
documentary film
place/space
installation
collaboration
FileFILMING IN MALE PRAYER ROOM.JPG

Collection items

Jamaat (2018)
Marsh, J. 2018. Jamaat (2018). Brick Lane Mosque

Assembly: Artist Talk at Closeup Film Centre
Marsh, J. 2018. Assembly: Artist Talk at Closeup Film Centre. Julie Marsh.

Assembly Exhibition Catalogue
Marsh, J. 2018. Assembly Exhibition Catalogue. London Julie Marsh.

Salat (2016)
Marsh, J. 2016. Salat (2016) . Birmingham Central Mosque

Related outputs

Assembly: catalogue of research findings
Marsh, J. 2019. Assembly: catalogue of research findings . London

Jamaat (2018)
Marsh, J. 2018. Jamaat (2018). Brick Lane Mosque

Assembly: Artist Talk at Closeup Film Centre
Marsh, J. 2018. Assembly: Artist Talk at Closeup Film Centre. Julie Marsh.

Assembly Exhibition Catalogue
Marsh, J. 2018. Assembly Exhibition Catalogue. London Julie Marsh.

Lokomotywownia (2016)
Marsh, J. 2017. Lokomotywownia (2016). Płaszów, Poland

Salat (2016)
Marsh, J. 2016. Salat (2016) . Birmingham Central Mosque

Pestera (2015)
Marsh, J. 2015. Pestera (2015). Atelier Contemporary Art Space, Bucharest

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/q9y33/assembly-performing-the-materiality-of-muslim-prayer-spaces


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