Try as I did, I simply could not fit this 30 minute performance art piece, Bismillah, by Igshaan Adams, into my Festival programme, but it sure does intrigue me.
Working with his (live) father, Amien Adams, he performs the Islamic rites of preparing his father’s body for burial according to the Islamic cleansing and wrapping ritual. Because of the theme it is recommended that it be restricted to over 18s.
My personal take on this is that in the Western world of the late 20th and early 21st century death has become sanitised and remote, with the rituals of saying goodbye and performing the last services of washing and preparing the body for burial being left to strangers. This retards, not aids, the grieving and healing process. The act being performed here as art is part of life and death. I am so sorry that I can’t fit this into my programme.
The performance art piece, Bismillah, is happening on Monday 7 July and Tuesday 8 July at 15:00 in the 1820 Monument Basement.