The Serpentine Gallery presented the European premiere of Clamor (2006), a new work by artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla.
Clamor explored the relationship between sound, music and war. A large sculptural chamber, which the artists describe as “resembling a bunker, a ruin, a cave, and a sound booth”, hosted live performance events from a musical archive of moments when music had been used in military and political conflict. For the live performances, held during the opening evening and regularly throughout the course of the exhibition, duelling musicians hidden inside the work itself played historic military songs, creating a monstrous montage of war music, somewhere between a symphony and cacophony. The artists created a pre-recorded 40-minute soundtrack, which was broadcast from within Clamor during the course of the exhibition. It sampled music from the Janissary bands of the Ottoman Empire, the resistance hymns of the Viet Cong and the ballads of the October Revolution, as well as contemporary popular music – such as Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” – used by American forces during the Panama invasion in 1989. Clamor staged a musical and corporeal investigation into the nature of these songs in the context of today’s global wars.