For her new creation, the artist Nazanin Fakoor took on The Conference of the Birds, a literary masterpiece by the Persian mystic poet Farid ud-Din Attar. In Attar’s story, thousands of birds search for Simorgh, the mythical bird that symbolises the truth. After many hardships on their journey, only 30 birds reach the end of their quest. Only then do they realise that they themselves are the Si (thirty) morgh (birds).
This beautiful poetry provides the basis for the libretto of Rainbow written by the Iranian composer Aftab Darvishi for the Swara Ensemble. The immersive installation – literally – reflects our differences and multiple identities. In this way, Fakoor reflects on the myth of a clear-cut national identity and the celebration of difference.
RAINBOW is a project that questions identity and its multiple facets. Comparable to rainbows, formed by the reflection and dispersion of sunlight, we all are the result of an infinity of reflections of the encounters that accumulate throughout history. Our identity is plural, but we are constantly confronted with a simplifying categorisation.
Concept, directing, installation and adaptation: Nazanin Fakoor
Composition: Aftab Darvishi
Dramaturgy: Tobias Kokkelmans
Assistant: Anne Gordon
Performed by the SWARA Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Ivan Yohan
Marion Bauwens, soprano
Sarah Verhoeven, soprano
Anna Nuytten, mezzo-soprano
Imogen Streul, mezzo-soprano
Hendrik Mispelon, tenor
Benjamin Jago, tenor
Dody Soetanto, baritone
Andrés Soler Castaño, bass
(Rainbow performative installation - 45')
Audio engineering: Jeremy Vettorel - Motor Music Studio
Audio spatialization: Karl Ancia
Production: kunstencentrum nona - Co-production: C-TAKT, Lunalia / Festival van Vlaanderen Mechelen, Workspacebrussels - With support from Flanders state of art - The Flemish Community Commission, Sabam, Kunstencentrum BUDA and Boghossian Fondation