An immersive soundscape install bleeding into the street. A work in process of making and negotiating space.
Opens 1st December 2020 5-8pm
Runs until 14th February 2021 everday 15:00 - 12 midnight
Book here to visit
Mandy El-Sayegh’s 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵 𝘶𝘴 is a site-specific installation exploring the boundaries of space, language and care. An immersive soundscape, the work-in-progress asks how we might embrace our lack-of (words, self) when building linguistic and cultural meaning. Drawing on intimate dialogues between friends, the installation becomes a second skin, a rhythmic layering of signifiers and memories. As it bleeds onto the high street of Harlesden, the work questions what occurs when modes of exchange shift: when social currency and autonomy fluctuate, when the external absorbs the internal, when the carer becomes the cared-for. As structures of meaning collapse, a new model of care may emerge, that of bodyguard care.
Installation shot with black lights only
If you’re getting stopped by the police, if your dad’s getting stopped by the police and is having bad experiences, he’s gonna tell you and then you’ll feel a certain way about the police.
And it all came to head when a black guy was stopped driving a car, which they suspected he’d stolen. And from that, they went and searched his house, which is illegal. During that there was an alleged altercation with the mum and apparently one of the officers shot at the mum. She subsequently dies from a heart attack […] Why do you think people are mad?
People are like, ‘I’m tired of being called a racist.’ How do you think it feels to be stopped because of your race? You’ve only been called a racist for the last few months, it’s like, get the fuck out of here.
They don’t believe us, they just don’t. They don’t feel that it’s at that level.
Cus it’s not in your sphere, you don’t experience it.
They’re trying to wear our skin. But performing it, so that’s why I don’t chat to no one.
You need to see it from when you’re a child. J. Cole has a song called Middle Child…
I’m a middle child, that’s why I can’t have no children, cus I’m the child.
You can’t have no children cus you’re a middle child – what kind of nonsense is that?
You’d be the first to have children.
Circular logic, hun.
Has your sister got a partner?
So technically she could raise you?
I don’t know if I want her to have a baby so I don’t have one. I want it to be her.
Why couldn’t you have a baby though if she had one?
Cus I have a vomit phobia.
I haven’t vomited since I was five. I’m just thinking if the metaphor affects me on the level of a baby, imagine that. And I was shook from Aliens 1.
My sister had a phobia.
I’m not scared of spiders – or snakes.
Spiders, snakes, vomit… So she calls me up in tears one day. She wakes me up and I’m like, ‘what’s happened to my pregnant sister?’ and she says, ‘there’s a spider in the sink in my kitchen, could you come round and kill it for me?’
She ended up getting hypnotised, because it’s like you’re going to have a baby – what if there’s a spider next to the cot and the baby’s crying, what are you gonna do?
But I don’t trust that hypnotism shit. Is it good for phobias?
The crazy thing is, there’s no such thing as hypnotism. You just move into more of a sedative state.
I don’t want sedation though.
There are parts of it which I don’t remember, so you can lose track of time.
That’s scary – cus that happens when you’re happy or sad. It happens in the studio. I don’t like it when I lose track of time. I want to track time.
Not monitoring time is the best thing sometimes.
But [your sister], she got through it, she was stomping on spider webs, and did it balance out?
Ya, she’s fine.
How did she get fine?
From the hypnotism.
[Excerpt from audio work in installation, edited transcript from a conversation between Mandy and a friend]
Text and transcription by Tamara Hart
Article in the Brent and Kilburn Times
Emergent Magazine Interview by James Ambrose