Inside/Outside The Whale

This Installation included vinyl wall text, 5, 7-panel drawings and a 30 min sound piece.

[To listen to the full piece click here. To listen to a short clip click here.]

The text revolved around the story of Jonah as an allegory for the political role of the artist. The Jonah story describes a man told by God to go to the people of Nineveh (a city in modern day Iraq) to tell them how evil they are and if they do not repent they will be destroyed. Additional texts included excerpts from Inside the Whale by George Orwell in which he described the modern artist who must choose between retreating to the interiority of the self (the belly of the whale) and the machinations of politics outside of the whale. Next to this was a response to this by Salman Rushdie who wrote an essay entitled Outside the Whale which argued that “there is no whale” – we are all complicit in politics. Next to this was a section from Edward Said’s Culture and Imperialism where he moderates this debate and reveals the tensions between east and west implicit in the arguments of Rushdie and Orwell. Finally, there was a section from Derrida’s essay On Forgiveness which defined forgiveness only in terms of the unforgivable.

The sound piece was made up of the voices of two actors, a man and a woman, reading these texts, their voices overlapping at times.

The drawings included iconography such as the Star of David, The Tree of Life (a kabalistic map of the universe), and the Jerusalem cross (the sign of the crusaders).