Unorthodox (W/E)

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video & sound
duration: infinite loop

Exemplar, Hortensia Gallery, London, 2009
Mark Emblem, The Courtyard Centre for the Arts, Hereford, 2009
Mark Dean: The Beginning of The End, Beaconsfield, London, 2010

© acknowledgements:
Flaming Creatures (1963) 
African Challenge (Zoot Sims) 
Jack Smith’s ‘Flaming Creatures’ (1963, banned by the US Supreme Court in 1967 as “not within the protections of the First Amendment” because of its “utter [lack of] social value”) uses imagery taken from Hollywood Orientalist films of the 1940’s (eg ‘Ali Baba’) where the East becomes an exotic metaphor for otherness.

Zoot Simms’ ‘African Challenge’ (1972) in common with a number of other Rastafarian songs of the time, uses phrases taken from the Oriental Orthodox Church of Ethiopia. “Satta amassagana ahamlack, ulaghize” is usually translated as “Give thanks to God continually”. However, this is not quite accurate Amharic, for the vowels in “amassagana” are mispronounced.