Armageddon is a word that is typically associated and used to refer to the end of the world. However, in this case, Armageddon is not an event but rather a place; more specifically, a place in Northern Israel known by its more modern name Tel Megiddo. The UNESCO World Heritage site is believed to have witnessed more battles than anywhere else in the world, and dominated the crossroads of ancient trade and military routes which link Egypt with Mesopotamia.
The ambitious, new work from Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson is their largest production to-date and aims to engage with the sites’ phenomenal heritage while elaborating on historical confusion between both place and event.
‘Song for Armageddon’ was made in collaboration with Israeli composer, Ophir Ilzetzki and shot on location. Over one night, a group of workers worked tirelessly to wipe down over a thousand chairs to create a large auditorium for an unknown audience, awaiting the sunrise. The film loops every 17 minutes and features a haunting performance by singer Faye Shapiro, allowing the audience to think, and contemplate, but more importantly, reflect.
Crowe and Rawlinson have worked together since 1994 and are fascinated in the ways in which power and authority present themselves. Their work often combines visual and acoustic allusions to topics such as faith, politics, national identity as well as the environment. The film is produced by Forma whose artistic director, Debbi Lander describes the two artists as being ‘visionaries at the intersection of art and conscience’.
‘Song for Armageddon’ will be featured at Baltic, Gateshead from 21st-24th September. For further information please head to balticmill.com.