Anthem Moves

30th November 2019, Cooper Gallery Dundee

12 Hour Non-State Parade | International Symposium

‘A rigorous yet engaging piece of work, it was fantastic to have this piece as part of Cooper Gallery’s most important event of 2019. I enjoyed your piece enormously.’

Sophia Hao, Director & Principal Curator, Cooper Gallery

Elisabeth Schilling created Anthem Moves in response to Jasmina Cibic’s work on artistic statecraft. The movement score was developed on the basis of the implicit and explicit rules of behaviour – and their breaking – while anthems are played: How do people conduct their bodies? Which modes of affirmation and critique do they develop? While the common image of a body exposed to a national anthem is certainly that of a static and reverential state subject, actual bodies are always traversed by numerous conscious and unconscious micro- and macro-movements. Accordingly, every movement in the performance is a ‘found movement’ taken from online videos of anthem performances.

The soundtrack, composed by Andreas Papapetrou, is a collage of excerpts from instrumental versions of the national anthems of various countries around the world, chosen for both their symbolism and their musical properties – rhythm, harmony, tempo, etc. None of these excerpts, however, is presented in its original form. All sound clips have been edited and combined with each other in order to create new sound colours and textures. While traces of basic melodies and themes may still be heard, the listener has to actively seek them out within the texture of the music.

Dramaturgy: Moritz Gansen

Images: David Lawson/ Sally Jubb