Mystical Protest

Part of Slavs and Tatars’ third cycle of work, The Faculty of Substitution, Mystical Protest looks at the potential of the numinous, or the holy, as an agent for change in the concrete, material world. For I decided Not to Save the World, a group show at the Tate Modern with Mircea Cantor, Mounira Al-Solh, and Yto Barrada, Mystical Protest (Muharram) investigates the collapse of time in the annual Shi’ite ritual, from locus of protest to anachronistic passion-play (ta’aziyeh).

“If the success of a drama is to be measured by the effect which it produces upon the people for whom it is composed, or upon the audience before whom it is represented, no play has ever surpassed the tragedy known in the Mussulman world as that of Hasan and Husain”.

— Sir Lewis Pelly, 1879

Mystical Protest (Muharram). Paint on silk-screened fabric, fluorescent lights, 620 x 240 cm, Tate Modern, 2011. Photo: Marco Rovacchi.
Mystical Protest (Muharram), paint on silk-screened fabric, fluorescent lights, 620 x 240 cm, "The Assistants" curated by Fionn Meade at David Kordansky Gallery, 2013. Photo: Brian Forrest.
Mystical Protest (Muharram), paint on silk-screened fabric, fluorescent lights, 620 x 240 cm, "The Assistants" curated by Fionn Meade at David Kordansky Gallery, 2013. Photo: Brian Forrest
Mystical Protest (Muharram), 2011. Paint on silk-screened fabric, fluorescent lights, 620 x 240 cm, SALT Beyoğlu.

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