The work of American performance artist Taryn Simon is coming to London for the first time and it’s going to be very special. Simon has invited professional mourners from 11 different countries – including Venezuela, Russia, China and Azerbaijan to enact rituals of grief and lamentation in a cavernous space under Islington Green. From Albanian laments of “uncried words” to Greek wailings to bind the story of life with its afterlife, this is a delicate blend of architecture, sound and performance. Interrogating the boundaries of grief between the living and the dead, past and present, performer and viewer, Occupation of Loss is a major new work co-commissioned by Artangel and New York’s Park Avenue Armory. See Taryn Simon discuss the ideas and research behind the project with Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern on Thursday 26 April at the Anatomy Theatre, King’s College.
By Megan Carnegie