Performance: Prologue

16 Jul 2021

Regular hours

10:00 – 17:00

Free admission

Jerwood Arts

England, United Kingdom


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An operatic performance devised in collaboration by artists Emii Alrai and Sulaïman Majali, using the sculptural installation Passing of the Lilies, Emii Alrai’s commission for Jerwood Solo Presentations 2021, as a theatrical backdrop where the artists bring together their collective research.


Emii Alrai uses sculpture and installation to interrogate ideas of inherited nostalgia, geographical identity and post-colonial museum practices of collecting and display. Rooted in her Iraqi heritage, her work draws on museum collections, ancient writing from the Middle East and oral histories to navigate an understanding of displacement and cultural collision.

Emii was born in Blackpool and is based in Leeds. She graduated from the University of Leeds with an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies in 2018. Alrai recently completed the Triangle Astérides Residency in Marseille. In 2020 she received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Artist Award and was part of the Yorkshire Sculpture International Sculpture Network. She was selected for the Arab British Centre Making Marks Project in Kuwait in 2019 and the Tetley Artist Associate Programme in 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include: The High Dam, The Tetley, Leeds (2020); Tutelaries, VITRINE, London (2019); House of Teeming Cattle, Two Queens, Leicester (2019); and An Ancient Quiver, GLOAM, Sheffield (2018). Notable group and duo exhibitions include: Fallow, Rectory Projects, London (2019); The Hum, Caustic Coastal, Salford (2017); and Limbo Lambada, Hutt Collective, Nottingham (2017). In 2022 she will be exhibiting new work at Eastside Projects, Birmingham, and in a two-person exhibition with Eve Tagny at Visual Arts Centre of Clarington in Canada.

Sulaïman Majali is an artist-poet who brings into play rupturing, grieving and dreaming as methodologies of disruption. They also practice under the alias strange saracen. Considering art as an already thinking and speaking thing, the artists agitate/incite/perform towards poetic and conceptual strategies for evading empire. At issue in the play is the liberatory or otherwise. Exhibitions and events include: assembly of the dispersed, part of The Internet of Things, Darat al-Funun, Amman, Jordan/online (2020). strange winds, a sound commission for The Common Guild’s In The Open (2020). a dream for scheherazade, EVERYTHING HAPPENED SO MUCH, 66th International Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany (2020). WHAT’S AHEAD, WHAT’S KNOWN, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland (2020). saracen go home, a solo exhibition at Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2019). something vague and irrational, Celine Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland (2019). assembly of the poets, a reading as part of EARTH HOLD, Qalandiya International Biennial, Serpentine Galleries, London, England (2018). Mene Mene Tekel Parsin, Wysing Arts Centre (2017). Towards an archive, 8th Cairo Video Festival (2017). Majali was shortlisted for the Margaret Tait Award 2020/21, a LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film and recently finished a 2-year research residency at Talbot Rice Gallery/Edinburgh College of Art. An upcoming solo exhibition false dawn will show as part of the postponed Glasgow International Biennial 2021.


There are two booking slots for this performance, 7pm and 8pm, each performance will last up to 30 minutes.

Book here:

 There will be the option to experience the performance standing or seated indoors at Jerwood Space. There is limited capacity at this event to allow social distancing seating, so we ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend. We will run a waiting list for tickets if they sell out and will be in touch if tickets become available in the run up to the event.


We want to make sure that our events programme is welcoming and accessible. Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can support you to attend and enjoy this event or if you have any feedback on the accessibility of our work. You can contact us via email at or telephone +44 (0)7944 903 882. Learn more about the access support available:

What to expect? Toggle

Exhibiting artists

Sulaiman Majali

Emii Alrai


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