'Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran)' John Gerrard (b. 1974)
Manchester International Festival, 2011
'Infinite Freedom Exercise, (near Abadan, Iran)', 2011, was first screened at the 2011 Manchester International Festival. Installed in Lincoln Square, Manchester city centre, the work played out in real-time, 24 hours a day, on a sculptural LED wall. 'Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran)', 2011, is set against the backdrop of a Persian landscape. In the foreground the figure of a soldier dressed in non-nationalised army fatigues performs an ongoing set of motions. Using 3D motion scanning, the soldier’s set of movements have been captured from performances created in collaboration with award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor.
The performance will be both repetitive and consistently developing, running continually with no fixed duration. 'Infinite Freedom Exercise (near Abadan, Iran)', 2011 takes its inspiration from a photograph by Henri Bureau that depicts an Iranian soldier watching a fire at an oil refinery in Abadan, south-western Iran during the first Iran-Iraq war in 1980. The title of the work is derived from an amalgam of the names of a recent United States military campaign, 'Operation Infinite Justice' which later became 'Operation Enduring Freedom'.
As the title suggests, the work draws parallels between notions of power and freedom and how these relate to energy supplies, principally in the form of oil, and responds to extensive military exercises currently occurring in the Persian Gulf region.
Co-producers: Manchester International Festival
Donated to: Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich