When: Wed., March 22, 7 p.m. 2017
In "Man Was Made to Mourn: A Dirge," Robert Burns memorably wrote of "man's inhumanity to man." South African visual artist Gabrielle Goliath has an interest in mourning, but her focus is squarely on man's inhumanity to women. Here, as in previous works, she addresses victimhood and reclaims agency for victims of sex- and gender-based violence—over the centuries and in the recent past—by making the enormity more visceral. Elegy calls for a female vocal septet not simply to sing together but to call forth a spirit of collective mourning through a sustained cry. It's an extended funeral song that necessarily shifts through each demanding performance, each of which is different as performers endeavor to fulfill the piece's generalized directive to conjure the souls of those who have been violated and silenced. The performance takes place on Duke's campus on Wednesday, followed by an artist talk and discussion at the John Hope Franklin Center on Thursday.