Monument in front of a blue sky
Emeka Ogboh, Song of the Union, 2021. 7-channel sound installation, duration infinite, Burns Monument, Edinburgh, © Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh
29. July2021-29. August2021Add to Calendar

Emeka Ogboh: Song of the Union

Exhibition​Talbot Rice Gallery, The University of EdinburghOld College, South BridgeEH8 9YL Edinburgh
Monument in front of a blue sky
Emeka Ogboh, Song of the Union, 2021. 7-channel sound installation, duration infinite, Burns Monument, Edinburgh, © Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh

Funded: Emeka Ogboh

Emeka Ogboh's (b. 1975, Nigeria) newly commissioned sound installation sited in Edinburgh's Burns Monument is a response to the ongoing and controversial negotiations surrounding the UK's departure from the European Union.

The sound installation features the recorded voices of citizens from each nation state of the European Union, singing Auld Lang Syne in their mother tongue. The song represents solidarity, friendship and open doors. The resulting polyphonic choir affects a complex interweaving of language, syntax, cadence and rhythm.

Auld Lang Syne was chosen by what German MEP Terry Reintke calls a 'EU-UK friendship group' to be sung in the European Parliament on the 29th January 2020, after members voted on the final withdrawal agreement and bid farewell to the U.K. Moved by this experience, Ogboh has created the work at a time when the post-Brexit reality is still far from resolved. The contradictions, hopes and harmonies that underscore the political concerns of the process are played out by Ogboh in the work.

The participating singers are EU citizens living in the UK who, unable to vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum, were effectively silenced on the day that the UK chose to leave the EU.

This exhibition is supported by the ifa Exhibition Funding.

Exhibition Funding

The Exhibition Funding programme supports contemporary artists in implementing art projects abroad.

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