Lydia Ourahmane’s performance “common id” is a stark chorus of sound and voices filling the space, spoken as a commentary against common reason, the taught and the habitual.
The protagonist moves through space, reluctantly, as a disagreement is acted out in call and response, Introduced by a Medahat song – the folk music sung traditionally by female singers in a code that men could not understand – recorded by Ourahmane in Sidi El Houari, Oran, Algeria. The cello behaves as a conversation between 2 positions of consciousness, a witness at the scene of a crime.
The performer in chant like speeches, carries the conflictual scenario of a scene of crime, its witness, its victim, its offender, and its system of justice. Positioned within unspoken laws that are inscribed in the individual and collective mindset, she re-enacts an oral history which is confronted by accusation, a call for cleansing, swallowed resistance and final acceptance. The central figure, transports antagonistic voices and characters, that emerge from contemporary landscapes of social conflict.
Photos by Laura Schaeffer