We are pleased to share Rubicon, a new work by artist Elijah Maja - created whilst part of Sound and Music's New Voices 2020 programme. We have now extended Rubicon's premiere on the British Music Collection—it will be available to watch until mid-February 2023.
Art objects and ritual objects are one and the same, the control laying firmly with who is wielding what in the presence of whom. Objects and actions will take on a power that re-establishes a space for the dweller.
Wendell Hassan Marsh writes that:
‘History is the science of the state, while memory is the art of the stateless’
- Elijah Maja
Read more about Rubicon here, and watch the video below.
Q&A with Elijah and Fiona Allison, Creative Project Leader, Sound and Music
You are a historian as well as an artist; how do you see the two strands of your work interlinking and influencing each other - if they do at all?
For me, overlaps are present in unearthing or working through a lineage in whatever shape that takes. Whether that is socially or musically, I’m often interested in those journeys, to consider etymology or the ways in which consciously or otherwise different facets are shaped and how we reach a certain point.
Part of the work was drawn from a series of interviews you conducted. Is this a process you often use and how do the interviews go on to inform the work?
Not really, it was a new thing to hold conversations with people in this way and have that in the sound work. I’m always intent on a process of collaborative working, to again allow for perhaps a fresher standpoint. To be ‘open source’ is important and this was a way to allow the work to feel less about an individual voice and more about synergy, an enmeshing or to actively seek for an abrasiveness. The focus in those instances is a feeling through a gateway or like a portal.
For this work you collaborated with two visual artists: a videographer and a photographer. You’ve worked with visual artists for past projects; do the visuals influence the music, or vice versa, and did you learn anything new in the process for this work?
I’m thankful for Ibrahim Cisse, Adam Farah’s free yard project and also Future Together Lab for their continued support and affirmation. It’s similar I suppose to a History, all these varying points of reference are provocations to then craft out that gateway. Everything is everything so they will all coalesce still.
In the process of making the work, I learnt more about stillness. Some time in Dakar, Senegal was about that patience, then the entire framework of the visual and sound shifted.
The pace of a city, of a landscape, of speech amongst other things and being in dialogue with that influenced what was put into Rubicon.
What’s next for the project?
After releasing Rubicon, I’ll have some new music and moving image series’ coming for 2023, as well as just like more speculative works, testing ideas out. New releases on my Bandcamp -(www.elijahelijah.bandcamp.com) and some performances, gallery interventions/exhibitions soon come