Brian Eno Denies Use of His Music at Israeli Embassy-Backed Events
Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:20:33
Brian Eno has denied permission to use his music in a series of upcoming dance performances by Israel's Batsheva dance company, which will be held in Italy.
The Guardian reported that the renowned musician and producer wrote a letter to the dance company informing them of his decision when he heard that the Israeli embassy was sponsoring the shows.
Eno has been vocal in his opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine for many years, and is a longtime supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a movement which seeks freedom and equality for Palestinians. He also added his name to the Artists' Pledge for Palestine, which asks those working in arts and culture to decline funding from any organization connected to the Israeli government.
In Eno's letter addressed to the dance company and it's choreographer, Ohad Naharin, he expressed that he was flattered that his music would be used by their company but that, it "creates a serious conflict" for him. "To my understanding, the Israeli embassy (and therefore the Israeli government) will be sponsoring the upcoming performances, and given that I've been supporting the BDS campaign for several years now, this is an unacceptable prospect for me,
"It's often said by opponents of BDS that art shouldn't be used as a political weapon. However, since the Israeli government has made it quite clear that it uses art in exactly that way – to promote 'Brand Israel' and to draw attention away from the occupation of Palestinian land – I consider that my decision to deny permission is a way of taking this particular weapon out of their hands,"
Eno discussed the travails of Israeli artists, with a focus on the Batsehva dance company, who has also shown sympathy to the Palestinian cause.
"I feel that your government exploits artists like you, playing on your natural desire to keep working – even if it does mean becoming part of a propaganda strategy," he continued. "Your dance company might not be able to formally distance itself from the Israeli government, but I can and will: I don't want my music to be licensed for any event sponsored by the Israeli government."
Brian Eno is no stranger to expressing the fullness of his opinion in a number of political and social arenas. In June of this year, ahead of the Brexit vote he urged citizens of the UK to remain in the European Union.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff