Key facts

A multipart project consisting of four situated art installations; a virtual platform; and an article on methodology 

ROLES 

Concept originator, producer and co-ordinator of all projects 

VENUES 

Assembly was made and exhibited in situ at Birmingham Central Mosque (2016) Brick Lane Mosque (2018 –19) Old Kent Road Mosque (2019–20) Harrow Mosque (2020) The Assembly project can be viewed at vimeo.com/showcase/8120594 17th Venice Architecture Biennale V&A / Biennale Special Project with Shahed Saleem (postponed to May 2021 due to covid-19) 

Additional artwork: Virtual Assembly (2020), an online Visit My Mosque initiative at Old Kent Road Mosque, designed to involve the wider community

Publication: Also included in the output is Marsh, J (2019), ‘Site-integrity’, Journal for Artistic Research, Issue 19. The article discusses the methodology underpinning Assembly in greater detail 

COLLABORATION 

With Jonathan Fuller-Rowell (project technician) and the Inclusive Mosque Initiative and the Muslim Council of Britain (project advisors); Venice/V&A special project curators: Shahed Saleem, Chris Turner (V&A) and Ella Kilgallon (V&A).

COMMISSIONED BY 

Virtual Assembly (2020) was commissioned by the Muslim Council of Britain 

FUNDING 

PILOT (Practical and Innovative Live Outcomes Testing) research funding scheme, University of Westminster, 2019 – £4,000 

CreatorsMarsh, J.
Description

Made in collaboration with the different mosque congregations, Assembly uses a programmed device mounted on a six-metre motorised rig. Gliding back and forth on the rig, the device is both “recorder” and “player”: at the end of a shoot, the camera is replaced by a projector and the “film” is ready for playback. The work does more than reproduce prayer: it also “performs” the social and religious structures of the site, making evocative use of 5.1 surround sound to create an uncanny experience. Mapped precisely to the mosque floor, the projected image of the carpet disappears into the real carpet. And the congregation, returning as observers, watch ghostly illusions of themselves at prayer.
Created and projected in each one of four mosques, Assembly enhanced the congregation’s self-awareness of the act of worship. The project highlights the social and architectural diversity of mosques in Britain, raising questions about social boundaries, while creating an opportunity for mosques to connect with the wider community.
The Venice installation of Assembly will include five films and interviews generated by the Assembly project, plus detailed 3D scans of Old Kent Road and Brick Lane mosques. Both films and scans will enter the V&A collection as permanent digital artefacts as a record of a significant period of informal religious architecture.

Portfolio itemsAssembly Exhibition Catalogue
Site-integrity: a dynamic exchange between site, artist, device and audience
Assembly: Performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces
Virtual Assembly
2021 Venice Architecture Biennale - Three British Mosques/Assembly
British Mosques
Year2020
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Web address (URL)https://vimeo.com/showcase/8120594/
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.34737/v844y

Portfolio items

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

Site-integrity: a dynamic exchange between site, artist, device and audience
Marsh, J. 2019. Site-integrity: a dynamic exchange between site, artist, device and audience. Journal for Artistic Research. Issue 19 19. https://doi.org/10.22501/jar.596787

Assembly: Performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces
Marsh, J. 2018. Assembly: Performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces. Scene. 6 (2), pp. 133-151. https://doi.org/10.1386/scene_00014_1

Virtual Assembly
Marsh, J. 2020. Virtual Assembly .

2021 Venice Architecture Biennale - Three British Mosques/Assembly
Marsh, J. 2020. 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale - Three British Mosques/Assembly. VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE May - Sep 2021

British Mosques
Marsh, J. Saleem, S., Turner, C. and Kilgallon, E. (ed.) 2021. British Mosques. Foolscap Editions.

Related outputs

British Mosques
Marsh, J. Saleem, S., Turner, C. and Kilgallon, E. (ed.) 2021. British Mosques. Foolscap Editions.

Jamaat at Harrow Mosque (2020)
Marsh, J. 2020. Jamaat at Harrow Mosque (2020). Harrow Mosque 16 - 16 Oct 2020

Virtual Assembly
Marsh, J. 2020. Virtual Assembly .

Jamaat at Old Kent Road Mosque (2019-20)
Marsh, J. 2020. Jamaat at Old Kent Road Mosque (2019-20) . 20 Jun 2020

2021 Venice Architecture Biennale - Three British Mosques/Assembly
Marsh, J. 2020. 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale - Three British Mosques/Assembly. VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE May - Sep 2021

Site-integrity: a dynamic exchange between site, artist, device and audience
Marsh, J. 2019. Site-integrity: a dynamic exchange between site, artist, device and audience. Journal for Artistic Research. Issue 19 19. https://doi.org/10.22501/jar.596787

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

Jamaat at Brick Lane Mosque (2018-9)
Marsh, J. 2018. Jamaat at Brick Lane Mosque (2018-9) . Brick Lane Mosque Oct - Nov 2018

Assembly: Performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces
Marsh, J. 2018. Assembly: Performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces. Scene. 6 (2), pp. 133-151. https://doi.org/10.1386/scene_00014_1

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 at Birmingham Central Mosque (2016-17)
Marsh, J. 2017. Salat at Birmingham Central Mosque (2016-17). Birmingham Central Mosque 06 - 06 May 2016

Lokomotywownia (2016)
Marsh, J. 2017. Lokomotywownia (2016). Płaszów, Poland 10 - 24 Feb 2017

Assembly: performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces
Marsh, J. 2016. Assembly: performing the materiality of Muslim prayer spaces. University of Westminster.

Pestera (2015)
Marsh, J. 2015. Pestera (2015). Atelier Contemporary Art Space, Bucharest 21 - 28 Jul 2017

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/portfolio/v844y/assembly


A member of the congregation interacts with the moving projection in the female prayer room in Brick Lane Mosque during a site performance
A member of the congregation interacts with the moving projection in the female prayer room in Brick Lane Mosque during a site performance