Featured Artists: Thania Petersen
Company: Whatiftheworld Gallery and Ruth Simbao
Thania Petersen’s work engages with the shrines, practices and philosophies of Muslim saints.
A new outdoor installation by Thania Petersen, references ziyarat (pilgrimage to holy shrines) commonly practiced by Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China. Long sticks, known as tugh, are used to mark these shrines, and often pieces of cloth are tied to these poles.
Ziyarat draws from recent reports of re-education camps in Xinjiang where Uyghur Muslims are believed to be held in detention in fear that they might become extremists. Through this installation, Petersen considers the ways in which people worldwide are robbed of their sacred spaces through the misuse of religion in politics and the secularisation of tourism. Standing in solidarity with people who suffer this fate, she considers the ways in which peoples’ histories and beliefs are embedded in land and sacred sites.
Sticks, cloth and talismans cover the mountainside. Walking along the footpath that leads to the Monument, festival goers can hear the installation engage sonically with the environment. The earth cries. Land plays its own music.
Ziyarat forms part of Petersen’s exhibition, Between Land and a Raised Foot