I made a short sound piece that collapses two events of October 1992. The first one is Sinéad O’Connor’s infamous performance on Saturday Night Live for which she sang an a cappella version of the Bob Marley song “War” and afterwards tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II. It was intended to be a protest against child abuse in the Catholic Church, and the systematic silencing of children who had come forward. “Fight the real enemy,” she declared.
At the second event, thirteen days later, on October 16th—so, 21 years ago tonight actually—she performed at the Bob Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. She had planned to sing the Dylan song “I Believe In You,” but in the face of unrelenting noise from the crowd, mostly booing, she ripped her in-ear monitors out and she repeated her Saturday Night live performance. She sang Bob Marley’s “War” again, unaccompanied by the musicians on stage.
I ripped the audio from a number of videos I found on YouTube to construct this. FULL TEXTSOUND PIECE
Come join us on October 16 for a public program called Listening In: The Social Space of Sound. Held in conjunction with Soundings: A Contemporary Score, which features the work of 16 contemporary interdisciplinary artists who explore the relationships between sounds, objects, and environments—how we listen and how the spaces in which we listen impact our experiences—this discussion addresses the materiality of sound: the ways in which sound can shape our physical, collective, and social experiences; our framework for understanding our environments; and how the medium of sound is particularly positioned to challenge familiar ways of thinking. Participants include Philip Brophy, writer, composer, and film director; Christoph Cox, Professor of Philosophy, Hampshire College, and a faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Branden Joseph, Frank Gallipoli Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University; and Johanna Fateman, musician, writer, record producer, and member of the band Le Tigre. Moderated by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, and organizer of the exhibition.
Red! and black… It will be thirty years that I dress in black. Red because of something I have always wanted to have been: a bullfighter. To be male. Beautiful. Piss everyone off: men, women, children, old people, old men that duel for me… It’s crazy! Black because I have always liked myself in black. A black pillow. Even when I was young, I used to go horseback riding and I taught children to do the first obstacles, in handling. I always wore a black shirt because it gave me the idea that this ugliness of mine had a mysterious air. That of a bloodsucker, that of a deadly woman. That was at least fifty percent, the deadly woman is worth half. It’s crazy.