Irina Botea | Preaching to the Choir

Curator: Maayan Sheleff
Sep. 26, 2015 - Dec. 26, 2015

In her video Before a National Anthem (2010), Irina Botea presents a collaborative process of writing a new anthem for Romania. A choir performs various works written and composed by Romanian poets and composers whom the artist approached, which combine texts proposed by hundreds of Romanian citizens who accepted the hallenge. The camera documents the choir performing the new “anthems,” lingering on the singers’ faces, as the rehearsals transform into negotiations between text and music. When the choir discusses the lyrics and tune, it inevitably discusses the meaning of the process itself, deconstructing it into formal and thematic elements. The work elicits questions about various perceptions of nationality and notions of community and collectivism, exploring the feasibility of a common narrative.

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