Sound and video installation with four singers / 23' / 2019

"Windows are shaking and the sky is falling” seeks to transmit the experience of war. With this work, Anahita Hekmat traces her childhood memories of the Iran-Iraq armed conflict (1980-1988). By combining her own experience and the visions of others of her generation affected by the war, she draws the forms of resistance of life against the violence of the world.

Anahita Hekmat is interested in the role of personal stories and territory in construction or interpretation of the memory. The trace of the past occupies an important place in her current work. This installation deals with the impact of war on personal and collective memories.

This work is a sound and video installation for a scenic space. Following the timeline of the war, the artist composed a sound piece. The operations and war events are used as triggers for sound elements and voices singing traditional regional songs. The sound spatialization system is made with sounds issued from the war: bombing, explosion, shooting, siren, etc. to fill the space. Thus fragments of recordings are transformed, manipulated, stretched, and deformed, to create an enveloping atmosphere. The spatialize sound is accompanied by singers. Songs are originated from regions affected by war. Singers’ recorded voices are broadcast through speakers. Singers are performing a specific technique of traditional Persian singing. "Tahrir" is an ornamental fast melisma singing technique without text, inspired by the songs of the regions on the border with Iraq. These songs accompany and gradually cover the ambiance sounds. Images shot in the region of Ghasr-e-Shirin, an ancient city in the border with Iraq where the war was started, are accompanying these sounds.


For this project, Anahita Hekmat had a residency at the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, Villa Bloch in Poitiers and Intermondes at La Rochelle (as part of the Cité internationale des arts cross residencies program) and received a travel grant from the Roberto Cimetta Fund mobility grant, as well as the support of the New Media Society in Tehran. 



Cité internationale des arts, Paris, France / 2019
AWMAT (Alliance of Women in Media Arts) conference, installation section (artworks), UC Santa Barbara, US / 2019
Exposition Collective “Hyperobjects”, Worth Ryder Art Gallery, UC Berkeley, Art Practice Department, Berkeley, US / 2019



Recording of the performance January 21st, 2019, Cité internationale des arts, Paris, France