Mazar, Texas (v)

Collaborators: Laray Polk
Date: 28th March 2014


Mazar, Texas was originally developed with curator and artist Laray Polk for Code Yellow at Central Trak and UTD Gallery, Dallas.

"According to Indian legend, when the Great Creator made the earth and finished placing the stars in the sky, the birds in the air, and the fish in the sea, there was a large pile of rejected stony materials left over. Finished with His job, He threw this into one heap and made the Big Bend

Ross Maxwell, geologist and first superintended, Big Bend National Park.

Many years ago a wise old Afghan Mujahed once told me the mythical story of how God made Afghanistan. ‘When Allah had mode the rest of the world, He saw that there was a lot of rubbish left over, bits and pieces and things that did not fit anywhere else. He Collected them all together and threw them down on to the earth. That was Afghansitan,’ the old man said.

Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist and author of Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, First Edition, 2000.

A large-scale, immersive work projected in a circular room, Mazar, Texas comprises footage shot by the artist in desert regions of the United States and Afghanistan. Cotterrell recorded journeys through Big Bend National Park in 2010 and Mazar-i-sharif in 2008 and, in 2014, stitched these together to create a cohesive, convincing vision of a desert that does not exist. The score accompanying the work is a mixture of the ambient sound recorded at both locations and the processed noise of a domestic UAD. Drones are known to both regions: in Afghanistan they carry lethal potential; in the United States they document illegal entry into the country.

Mazar, Texas takes some of its inspiration from the virtually identical creation myths surrounding the deserts of both Big Bend and Mazar-i-sharif, in which God, having made the world, realises there is a mass of material left over and throws the waste of his creation to the earth to make the desert.

Materials:

Panoramic video installation

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