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Combining sound, performance and unscripted debates, Mikhail Karikis’ new moving-image commission takes its cue from the short story The Iron Woman (1993) by the poet and author, Ted Hughes. In the story, children are the first to hear an eerie, supernatural noise, which is an emanation of the collective pain of creatures affected by the pollution of the planet. Angered by the complicity and complacency of adults, children take matters into their own hands, infiltrating factories and demanding immediate action against the impending ecological catastrophe.
Karikis adopts this children’s story as an ecofeminist parable and as a lesson in the power of sound to effect physical, psychological and socio-political transformation. He introduced the book to a class of 7-year-old students from Mayflower Primary School in East London whom he asked to reflect on the environmental themes of the story and to imagine the noise that assisted the book’s heroes in their protest.Read more