This sound installation is born of an investigation into the relationship between slavery and the industrial revolution through music. It was triggered by a problematic statement by British diva Genesis P-Orridge in the 1980s: ‘And then there’s the joke we often used to make in interviews about churning out our records like motorcars – that sense of industrial. And up till then the music had been kind of based on the blues and slavery, and we thought it was time to update it to at least Victorian times – you know, the Industrial Revolution.’
Composition is a non-narrative musical sculpture with field recordings from abandoned factories or shipping containers infiltrated by musical fragments from the last century. The work invokes a vivid past and memories of alienation, struggle and strikes through chanting, dancing and partying as counter-strategies against the violence of capitalist colonial oppression.
Composition (2019) Louis Henderson & João Polido, photo credit: © Henning Rogge / Urbane Künste Ruhr. The work was commissioned by Britta Peters for the exhibition "Ruhr Ding: Territorien" by Urbane Kunste Ruhr.