Connecting Nothing With Nothing
March 20 2010
What does MTV have in common with political performance art? What does 1920s German stage composer Kurt Weill have in common with feminist electro-pop group Chicks on Speed? And, what links Margate to the anti-globalisation lobby, the oil industry and the French resistance movement?
The answer: Artist Anat Ben-David.
Now Limbo has commissioned Anat to produce an exhibition and performance especially for Margate. The new work will reimagine the song Die Muschel von Margate Kurt Weill, taking further inspiration from T S Eliot’s poem The Wasteland, which was partly written in Margate and famously contains the lines, 'On Margate sands. I can connect Nothing with nothing'.
The original Die Muschel von Margate (which has been translated into English as Mussels from Margate – though a more accurate translation would read The Shell of Margate,) was written for Ukrainian playwright Leo Lania’s satirical play “Konjuktur”, and tells the story of how, on the promenade at an English seaside resort, an oil refinery eventually replaces a little souvenir kiosk selling painted shells. The seller’s yell – “Shell! Shell! Shell!” soon becomes an angry rant against the Shell Oil Company.
For the new piece, Anat Ben-David will be using parts of both texts and adding new material to create a visual performance work that will combine music (the artist is a member of musical collective Chicks on Speed, touring with them and Peaches in 2002 and releasing her solo album Virtual Leisure on Chicks on Speeds’ record label in 2008), video and print to create an installation, through which she intends to recreate the fictionalised Margate of Weill and Eliot’s writing; a place where the romantic ideals of the past collide with the industrial capitalism of the modern world.
To find out more about Anat's work, see her website