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James Webb

Le Marché Oriental

Galerie Imane Farès, Paris

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Artist
James Webb
Title
Le Marché Oriental
Year
2009
Duration
3 min
Format & Technical

Variable dimensions, video, colour, sound
Edition of 5 + 2 AP

  • Camera: Norman Servais
  • Sound recording: James Webb & Vanessa De Michaelis
  • Sound editing: James Webb
  • Video editing: Matthew Kalil
  • Video colouring: Craig Parker at HD HUB, Cape Town

A 2-minute intervention inside Cape Town’s disused Oriental Plaza, an Apartheid-era shopping mall designed to control Cape Malay trade. On the 4th day of Ramadan, 2008, Sheikh Mogamat Moerat of District Six’s Zeenatul Islam Majid mosque was invited to sing the Adhan (call to prayer) inside the empty remains of the building a few weeks prior to its demolition to make way for luxury apartments.

The project was shot on HD at sunset. The images were filmed looking out through the old, grimy windows of the empty Oriental Plaza and onto the changing Woodstock area in the process of gentrification. This technique places the viewer “inside” the building, directing their gaze out of the windows and onto the surrounding environment and architecture of the area. The image of the muezzin is not shown, nor is the inside of the building. The sound was recorded in one take and has not been spatially enhanced in post-production. The reverberation you hear on the voice is the acoustic of the building, an acoustic that now no longer exists.

Stills