This work had so far three iterations:
Seoul: Installation at SeMA Nanji. June 2017.
Read more here . (scroll down for English).
Los Angeles: Visual Artists Group Hollywood, Nov. 2017.
Read more here. (background info, contracts with participants and more).
Juarez: Project Space Festival Juarez – Purge, Nov. 2019
Information in Spanish (including the contracts) is here.
CORDUENE MEDITATION SITE: Meditating on the meaning of territory, nationhood and the trauma of the self, Shamriz re-imagines a 5th century Kurdanaye religious site for healing and appropriates it for contemporary setting within an art gallery. This parallel duality of irony and spirituality is a site-specific variation on the artist’s idiosyncretic cinematic language that often combines these two contradictory elements within the framework of a performative experience. It alludes to travel bans, globalization and surveillance while conveying spiritual simplicity. The visitor signs a contract to avoid witnesses and the truthful sharing of their experience (The only permitted and possible account of the visit is a false one). In addition, a set of three rules determines who is eligible to enter the territory – a person who hadn’t committed murder in the last three years, physical assault in the last month and who hasn’t been in the area of the Western Roman Empire.
In 407 A.D, a small group of young men, who were ethnically and religiously Corduene but were residing very far from the community, in Ravenna, then the capital of the Western Roman Empire, came back to the mountainous region where the Corduene lived (modern day Kurdistan). This group of men who were “coming back home” spent the next week slaughtering a whole village of the community. Their motive was unclear and they vanished after the action.
Following this event, in the following years, the Corduene set up multiple sites, in the mountains. The sites were simple in design and were dedicated for cleansing, healing and re-generation.
There were however a number of rules that had to be followed in order to be able to use the sites.
This is a re-creation of those religious sites and a translation of the rules that applied to them.