Imber

Imber is a village on Salisbury plain, requisitioned by the Army during WW2 for street-fighting exercises and never handed back to the displaced inhabitants. After much negotiation and some mine-sweeping, the Army recently gave Artangel permission for a one-night performance there, with music by Giya Kancheli. There’s lots of detail on the Artangel site, including an interview with Kancheli. I’ve no idea how I managed to miss this. There’s a review on the Independent site, which makes a point about context:

The fact is, we weren’t focusing on the real tragedy – unmentioned in the advance publicity – which lies three thousand miles away. Though they don’t hail from it, Rustavi [Georgia’s famous choir] take their name from a now-derelict Georgian industrial city, which is one of the most desolate places I’ve seen. Thousands of people live there, but hardly any have jobs. And the monastery of David Garreja [“whose ancient frescos had not prevented the Soviet army from using it for target practice”] – just south of Rustavi – is still sublime. But it would take more than a fleet of buses to ferry an audience out there.

Incidentally, according to Frieze magazine, Kancheli is now based in Antwerp, because of his fondness for the cakes there.

3 comments

  1. oh yes, that seems like something that shouldn’t have been missed.
    given your other recent activities you could probably synthesthesiasize something starting with a drive to Georgia from Antwerp in a wood car …

  2. and on this stream of consciousness, was just flipping through things at Strand Books and came across Robert Polidori’s “Zones of Exclusion – Pripyat and Chernobyl” … voluptuous shots of plant workers like bakers in front of Lem-ish dials and guages. Makes me want to go out and get some Dirty Bomb Pills.

  3. I’ve seen some of those photos recently — lovely. What’s the Viridian phrase? Accidental Nature Reserves or something similar…very Stalker.

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