Anthems.
2017- 2018.
Research, sound, performance, video.




Countries people have asked me if I come from:
Israel
Iran
Pakistan
Turkey
Russia
France
Iraq
Italy
Spain
Malaysia
Japan
India

In the Anthems project, Amber Ablett has been learning the national anthems of countries that people have asked her if she comes from. The project began in early 2017 when Ablett gathered a list of 13 countries that others had connected her with due to an assumption based on her appearance, and began learning these anthems, which were written to draw a picture of a nation and are sung to evoke pride and unity.

The overall project of learning the national anthems seeks to raise the question of the assumed relationship between ethnicity and nationality, our outer appearances and our inner connections, how we see ourselves and how others see us.The attempt to learn the anthems is my attempt to connect with countries that I have no connection with but that other people have connected me with while also confronting this challenge to my sense of belonging.  

However, the question of how we see ourselves and how we are seen goes much wider than my personal experience related to ethnicity. Strict definitions and ideas of gender, sexuality and ability are also often forced upon us without our permission

The project has been shared in a number of ways over the last two years, through live performances, sound works and text. In the autumn of 2019 Ablett will be forming a discussion group and singing workshop around the themes of this work and exhibiting an archival listening installation to share the final part of the project at Lydgalleriet.

Part one: 27/4/17 IN THE LIBRARY, Bergen, NO.

Part two: Anthems; a choir for one. FELT Galleri, Bergen. Norway. 9th September 2017.

Part three: Text works.

Part four: Discussion workshop, September- October 2019.

Part five: Anthems, solo exhibition. Lydgalleriet, Bergen. November 2019.

Image: Stephan Gaassand, 2017.
Bergen, Norway// London, UK