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"I am a human being, so nothing human is strange to me ״ - Terence

A Video Installation by Michal Cole

‘Mute-Ululation’ is a site-specific video installation by British –Israeli artist Michal Cole where the artist addressed her own identity quest:  searching for her culture and heritage.

Although she was born in Israel and lives in London absorbing Western society, her parents are both Moroccan with a genealogy that can be traced back to the Spanish inquisition. In the early 1950’s, they were deported by sea to Israel in abject poverty, placed into refugee camps and struggled as a family to make a proud home in the face of acute racial discrimination for their Moroccan roots.

Michal has traveled to Morocco and Israel to film women performing traditional celebratory ‘ululation’: a long, wavering, high-pitched vocal sound with a trilling quality accompanied by a rapid movement of the tongue from side-to-side. Focusing her camera solely on the mouth in a tightly cropped frame, each woman is concentrated into a symbolic expressive vent – a pure visual, audial and intensely erotic outpouring.
Across three surrounding walls of a darkened room, these single images appear arbitrarily out of the darkness and assemble frame by-frame until there are hundreds of ululating mouths enfolding and encompassing the viewer into a mighty, almost unbearably forceful crescendo of sound and image. 

This defiant deluge of unadulterated female happiness functions as both a triumphant and poetic celebration of female identity and sexuality as well as visualising a pervasive unifying bond amongst women that transcends geographical borders, religions and ideologies.
Cole’s vision is one of hope in the face of discrimination and adversity- confronting these issues head on, with a profound sense of strength and justice.

About the artist

Michal Cole is a multi disciplinary artist. Her practice includes video, performance, site-specific installation as well asphotography, sculpture, works on paper and woven tapestries. She graduated from Central Saint Martins art college (BA) and Chelsea college (MA). She has been exhibiting internationally and won several prizes including the Saatchi Gallery’s Showdown competition, Signature Art Prize Award and My Art Space Scope Miami Award . She lives and works in London.


Mute Ululation  exhibited at The Pavilion of Humanity
998 Via Garibaldi, Venice Italy
04 -30 May 2015 

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