This work had so far three iterations:
Seoul: Installation at SeMA Nanji. June 2017.
Read more here . (Korean, scroll down for English).
Los Angeles: Visual Artists Group Hollywood, Nov. 2017.
Read more here. (Background information, contracts, and more).
Juárez: Project Space Festival Juarez – Purge, Nov. 2019.
Read more here (Background information and contracts in Spanish).
[Scroll down for images]
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.
” 1) You may enter the site only when there is no one else around and the room is completely empty.
2) When inside, and only when inside, you may use the instruments you will find there.
3) Please don’t report, picture or tell any of the experiences you had when you were inside the site. Don’t share any of the thoughts or feelings you had, or the things you heard, saw or sensed while at the site. Only a false report is allowed, as long as it is not indicating any truth about what you experienced.
You are NOT ALLOWED to use this site if:
1) You killed another person in the last 3 years; or
2) You physically wounded another person in the last 1 month not as part of a mutually consensual play; or
3) You were living or traveling in the area of (what used to be) the Western Roman Empire in the last 6 months.
Please kindly respect this religious site and its set of rules even if you don’t share the belief. “