At the beginning of time, the great mother was trapped in the cave, with a stone blocking the way out. Suffocating, she sang and danced, and the stone was shattered. She was free. She passed the song down – the secret key to freedom – to her future generations. However, very few knew how exactly the song was sang. During the celebration of her rebirth, it is our time to sing it. Ma Li’s “Great Mother’s Birth Song” is a participatory performance and video project examining ritual as a tool to organize social structure.
Borrowing from numerous mythological and religious sources, such as the destruction of Jericho by blowing the trumpets, Li’s project explores sound, movement and rhythm, aiming to create a unique experience through collective fantasy. After a series of video performances carried out in different locations in Jerusalem, she will perform a final, site-specific performance during the festival’s opening night. The sounds generated from the installation, along with vocals and actions coming from the audience, will create an immersive environment in which ‘the song of the great mother’ is performed. Witnessed by the audience – who are also participants – the song becomes a symbol and a structure for the manifestation of personal freedom together with collective engagement.