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An Intro to Islam (2014) - performance lecture series in English and Arabic

Performed in: Biozentrum Köln, Germany, October 2014.
openlab of KHM Rundgang, Köln 2014.
release-event of Shilly Shally #2 at SCHALTEN UND WALTEN, Köln 2014.
King Georg club-bar, Köln 2015.

The performance-lecture aims at the relationships between the different voices in Islam: the prophet, the reciter, and myself, as someone who has grown up in Iran during the development of country’s educational and religious transformation to Islamic doctrinaire after a revolution. By speaking like an Imam and electronically enhanced singing, the performer acquires the tools of the prophet of Islam to examine how a prophet sounds to his listeners at his time and after fourteen centuries.

By drawing, on one hand, a personal picture of the history of Islam, the story of voice, and reflecting on a life-experience of growing up in its realms, the lecture brings up the meaning of being a child in that certain society marked by the Islamic scholarship and ideology, and that which happens in the classroom structured by the ideas that were adapted from Islam and its traditions. On the other hand, the performance is an elaboration on the issue of memory, as something that is real but not actual. Memory is the space where art and love can be called into being, and—in a Deleuzian term—belongs to the virtual domain. The recalling of the past in the vortex of written or spoken propositions of Islamic textualities also entails its forgetting—a talking conciseness that tries to catch up to a contemporary image of science and art, but it fails to reach a therapeutic whole. There are themes of illustration and influence, issues of domain and selection which are raised by the juxtaposition of architecture, history, culture, and personal experience.

Lecture in English by Sina Seifee at Biozentrum Köln Insect Lab2, Köln 2014 Online interface for the lecture series on Islam containing the notes, thoughts, and relationships. Performance lecture in English with occasional singing verses of Qur’an in Arabic, openlab of KHM, Köln 2014 <br />
The immediacy and issues of talking about Islam in its own terms of delivery is relevant to the lives of many, in this age where there are active religious wars at large and just the mention of the word Muslim in some areas triggers the idea of slaughter. To lecture (or <i>Khutbah</i>) is the heart of Muslim community and its main public praxis, a religion so much coupled with human voice. I am assuming my audience to be in peace, who also assumes freedom, invention, and boldness. Performance 'Bodies of the Prophet and the Celestial Self' sermoned and sang at King Georg club-bar, Khutbah (short-lecture) on the fantasies of transformation in the body of prophet in Islamic teaching and the imagination of call with few recitations of Quran, Köln July 2015 'Undesirable Decidability—the Indecisions of Sanctity in Early Islam', performance at release-event of 'Shilly Shally #2' at SCHALTEN UND WALTEN, Köln 2014 Lecture performance series on Islam in English by Sina Seifee, Köln 2014<br /> The public official of religious representative in Islam talks in the sacred space, the hyper-mosque. This is a mental space more than an architectural space. To perform the religious text in a place reserved for science or artistic tests, is an experiment with the sacred space that lacks the ritualistic and symbolic actors which construct it. The symbolic necessity and cultural significance of the mosque where the Khutbah happens, is of undoubted importance, however there have been no relationship between the artists and that which goes on within the mosque—there have been hardly any dialogue between creativity and the demands of worship.

© 2014 Sina Seifee