(1973, Nairobi, Kenya. Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands)
(30 perfected violins, video and sound installation.)
Islamic Violins is a homage to the Fluxus movement, which developed an anti-establishment, anti-commercial approach to art in the 1960s, by staging intuitive ‘aktion’ works, performances, low-budget do-it-yourself art editions and other events, intending to free art from the boundaries of the institutions and the market.
Islamic Violins is inspired by Persian, Arabic, Urdu and Turkish poetry’s attempt to address the ideal of the beloved in its most untouched, perfected form. The violin, whose origins lie in Central Asia, here stands for the ideal body and spirit; in its perfectly symmetrical repetition it brings about meditative serenity and a sepulchral, timeless beauty.
The grainy mini-video and saturated surround sound stand in absolute contrast with this ideal image. The ‘low-tech’ explosion of violins
and the survey of the debris created by the onslaught have the ugly noisiness of media, interfering with the contemplation of beauty.
These violins were bought in Pakistan, and made their way through the Netherlands, were they were sculpturally perfecteby the artist, back to Kochi; thus summarizing in their short history the long convoluted and dramatic history of the instrument.