Sunday, October 20th, 2019 | 4:30pm at Sursock Museum:
4 Waters - Deep Implicacy by Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva, Sun Rave by Roy Samaha, Backyard by Khaled Abdulwahed, The Troubled Bear and the Palace by Walid Siti
Thursday, October 24th, 2019 | 6:00pm at Sursock Museum:
At the Time of the Ebb by Alia Farid, Instructions on How to Make a Film by Nazlı Dinçel, 30KG Shine by Shadi Habib Allah, Wong Ping’s Fables 1 by Wong Ping, Bab Sebta (Ceuta’s Gate) by Randa Maroufi
Image: Still from 4 Waters - Deep Implicacy by Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva, courtesy of the artists.
Backyard by Khaled Abdulwahed
2018, 26’, English with Arabic subtitles
Cacti grow all over the Middle East and are used for their fruits and as borders between houses and villages. The thorny, tough plant also became a symbol of resilience over time due to its capability for survival. In the fall of 1998, near his home in the southwest of Damascus, filmmaker Khaled Abdulwahed took a landscape photograph of a cactus field on a 35mm chrome film. In the summer of 2012, the cactus field was destroyed during the uprising, and the war started to form a new landscape. Khaled's picture on the film was damaged and lost, but he still had a scan of the photography-film. In Backyard, Abdelwahed deconstructs and reconstructs copies of the photograph he took as they’re projected onto an apartment block in Berlin, rebuilding the former field on a smaller scale, using a scanner and a 3D printer.
Instructions on How to Make a Film by Nazlı Dinçel
2018, 13’, English
Shot at the Film Farm in Mount Forest, Ontario, this comedy is a quest about performance, educational voiceover, analogue filmmaking, ASCII, language, ethics of ethnography, and narrative storytelling under a metaphor of instructions to farm land. Text by Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett and Wikihow/shoot-film.
At the Time of the Ebb by Alia Farid
2019, 21’, Farsi with English subtitles
At the Time of the Ebb (2019) was filmed 100 nautical kilometers from the easternmost tip of the Arabian Peninsula, on the Iranian island of Qeshm. Such is the stage for Farid’s film essay, a melancholic meandering through the surviving festival traditions of an island seemingly cast out of time or, rather, living per a rhythm that’s very much its own, attuned to ancient seasonal cycles. The work foregrounds a number of local residents, whose performances draw attention to their customs and traditions, material surroundings, and the natural environment, from a brightly decorated domestic interior to an expansive sea view overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation
30KG Shine by Shadi Habib Allah
2017, 20’ , Arabic with English subtitles
Around 1936, a rumour spread in Jerusalem’s old city, which kept inhabitants indoors while a ghost took hold of the city, wandering its dark streets and alleys at night. 80 years later, in the neighbourhood where that myth unfolded, a woman is trying to retrieve possessions that belonged to her family. Planning happens at night in her waking hours. Also in the dark and underneath the city, far from anyone’s eyes, a community of Palestinian workers employed in the construction of a one-of-a-kind Israeli underground burial site, are disputing work organisation and allegiances to the different project managers involved. In a place where myth assigns the ephemeral to weight of fat, the object of the dead body becomes a tool for speculating on property.
Bab Sebta (Ceuta’s Gate) by Randa Maroufi
2019, 19’, Arabic and Spanish with English subtitles
Bab Sebta consists of a series of reconstructed situations based on observations made on the border of Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on Moroccan soil providing the scene for an intense trafficking of manufactured goods, sold at discounted prices. Every day, thousands of people work there.
Barney Production - Montfleuri Production
4 Waters - Deep Implicacy by Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva
2019, 31’, English
4 Waters is as much a film project and an experiment in collaboration, as it is a set of fragments drawn from a re-imagined cosmos. These fragments, sounds, and stories help us convey the experiential moment of entanglement, or rather, they describe an entangled moment prior to separation, what we call ‘Deep Implicancy’.
One such story we follow is water, both as it phases transitions with and into other matter including life, but also as it combines disparate geographies, bodies of/in water, and four islands within them—Lesvos, Haiti, Marshall Islands, Tiwi.
Through a series of experimental migrations and elemental crossings, we begin to question the form of the universal human, its calcified and exceptional origins, and in particular, its ethical program. Wandering and wondering through a transformative figuring of justice, we ask, what if our image of the world recalled phase instead of measure? And what becomes of ethics if we let go of value?
Wong Ping’s Fables 1 by Wong Ping
2018, 13’, Cantonese with English subtitles
Fables comprises three back-to-back distinct animations, each of which presents, as the title suggests, a succinct fictional story with imaginary characters that communicates a ‘moral’ lesson. Jumping between the tales of a Buddhist nun elephant, a social-media-addicted chicken, and an insect-phobic tree, Fables touch upon issues of appearance, love, digital interaction, narcissism, and fear. Despite the vibrant and illogical superposition of narrators and events, the films address toils that affect each of our contemporary daily lives. Ultimately, Fables is a vivid, cynical, and cuttingly wry source of insight into societal behaviour. Through the fantastical foil, the works cumulatively provide a liberating rawness and urge a cathartic twist on the trials rooted in daily life.
Courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery and the artist
Sun Rave by Roy Samaha
2018, 11’, English
This video explores childhood anecdotes heard around an apartment, which until 1989, when a major solar storm erupted, had been inhabited by a strange couple. Some suspected them of being undercover agents, while others said they were just some new age sorcerers. The work addresses the relationship between layers of history, outstanding events in nature, and ancient cipherings of language; how the cycles of the Sun’s unpredictable release of energetic flares affect the magnetic fields of the earth and influence radio transmissions, communication, and reason on a mass scale.
Produced by BeMA & Studiocur/art
The Troubled Bear and the Palace by Walid Siti
2019, 11’, English
At the 7,000 ft peak of the Gara Mountain in Kurdistan, Iraq, the remains of former dictator Saddam Hussein's palace, built in 1989, still stands.
29 years later, in March of 2018, two caged bears were escorted by the Kurdish Women’s Protection Unit to be ceremoniously freed at the helipad adjacent to the palace in the presence of local media. Having lived in captivity throughout their lives, the bears struggle to survive in the wild. While one ends up vanishing, the other remains at the mercy of the personnel guarding the telecommunication towers now erected at the palace. The troubled bear echoes the tragedy of the people of this land throughout history, from the time of Gilgamesh to our present day, as he wonders in and around the dilapidated palace.
Khaled Abdulwahed (b. 1975, Syria) is an artist, filmmaker, and photographer based in Leipzig. Between 1996 and 2000, he studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design at the Adham Ismail Art Center in Damascus, and at Frederick University in Nicosia, Cyprus. Between 2000 and 2010, his photography and painting artworks were exhibited in art spaces and galleries across the Middle East and Europe. Since 2011, Khaled has directed and produced several videoworks and experimental documentary films that were screened in art spaces, festivals, universities, and TV channels all over the world. In 2017, he joined the curatorial team of Berlinale’s Forum Expanded.
Nazlı Dinçel’s hand-made work reflects on experiences of disruption. She records the body in context with arousal, immigration, dislocation, and desire with the film object—its texture, color, and the tractable emulsion of the 16mm material. Her use of text as image, language, and sound imitates the failure of memory and her own displacement within a western society. Born in Ankara, Turkey, Dinçel immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. She resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she is currently building an artist run film laboratory. She obtained her MFA in filmmaking from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her works have been exhibited in numerous venues around the world.
Alia Farid (b.1985) lives and works in Kuwait and Puerto Rico, both countries that she is from and whose complex colonial histories she reveals through drawings, objects, spatial installations, and film. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from La Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico, San Juan, a Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Visual Arts Program at MIT, Cambridge, and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from the Programa d’Estudis Independents at MACBA, Barcelona. Recent and upcoming group shows include Sharjah Biennial 14; the 2nd Lahore Biennale; and MoMA PS1, New York. Recent and upcoming solos include exhibitions at Galerie Imane Farès, Paris; Witte de With, Rotterdam; and Swiss Institute, New York.
Shadi Habib Allah (b. 1997, Jerusalem) received a BFA from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2003 and an MFA from Columbia University in 2010. He attended residencies at Gasworks and Delfina Foundation in London. He was the 2012 recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and the 2018 Mophradat Consortium Commission grant. His work has been exhibited as part of Palestine c/o Venice, 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); Art Statements, Art Basel 43 (2012); the New Museum Triennial, New York (2015); and Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); amongst others. His films have screened at the 69th Berlinale’s Forum Expanded, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, Oberhausen Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hamburg Film Festival, and the 40th Norwegian Film Festival. He lives and works between the US and Palestine.
Randa Maroufi (b. 1987, Casablanca) is a Fine Arts graduate at Tetouan (Morocco), Angers (France), and Le Fresnoy (France). She belongs to this generation that grew up in an era dominated by images, collecting them with as much eagerness as suspicion and ceaselessly questioning their veracity. Maroufi prefers to put her ambiguous fictions in the service of reality, and the field of her experimentation encompasses the occupation of public space and gender issues, of which she highlights the founding mechanisms. She is currently living and working in Paris.
Arjuna Neuman is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. He works with the essay form with a multiperspectival and mobile approach, where ‘essay’ is an inherently future-oriented and experimental mode, becoming the guiding principle for research and production, and shifting between the bodily, haptic and affective through to the geopolitical, planetary and cosmological. Selected projects include collaborations with Lorde Selys and Rachel Dedman as Radio Earth Hold at the Serpentine Galleries, London (2018); Qalandiya International, Jerusalem (2018); Gasworks, London (2018); and Navel, Los Angeles, (2017); and with Shahira Issa at Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017). Solo projects include Bold Tendencies, London (2018); Soy Capitan Gallery, Berlin (2017); NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore (2017); Supercommunity at the 56th Venice Biennale (2016); the Haus Der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2016); Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2016); and Beirut Art Center (2015).
Roy Samaha is a Lebanese artist living and working in Beirut. With films and videoworks like Residue, Landscape at Noon, Transparent Evil, Inheritance & Dispossession, and Untitled for Several Reasons, he explores the boundaries of filmic language, perception of reality, and the memory of personal objects. His work has been featured in Space Edits, Beirut Art Center; Sharjah Biennial 13; Planet 9, Kunsthalle Darmstadt; Too Early Too Late, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna; Disobedience Archive, Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Bildmuseet, Umea; Image Counter Image, Haus der Kunst, Munich; International Film Festival Rotterdam; and Affinités, Déchirures & Attractions, Frac, Alsace.
Denise Ferreira da Silva is a philosopher and academic based in Vancouver. Her writing and artistic practice addresses the ethical questions of the global present and targets the metaphysical and onto-epistemological dimensions of modern thought. She is a Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute (GRSJ) at the University of British Columbia; Adjunct Professor of Fine Arts at Monash University, Melbourne; and Visiting Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race and co-editor of Race, Empire, and The Crisis of the Subprime with Paula Chakravartty). Selected work includes texts for the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and Documenta 14 (2017). Collaborations include Return of the Vanishing Peasant with Ros Martin, and Poethical Readings and the Sensing Salon with Valentina Desideri, an ongoing series of events and performances including at Performing Arts Forum (PAF), St Erme, France (2018); Artspeak, Vancouver (2017); and the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016).
Walid Siti was born in 1954, in Duhok, Kurdistan-Iraq. After graduating in 1976 from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, he continued his arts education in Ljubljana, Slovenia before seeking political asylum in the UK in 1984 where he now lives and works. Siti’s work has been exhibited internationally, at Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin; the Imperial War Museums, London; Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); and three times at the Venice Biennale (2009, 2011, and 2015). His works are included in many public collections, including at The Met, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow; Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE; the British Museum, London; the Imperial War Museums, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Barjeel Art Foundation, UAE.
Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong) practice combines the crass and the colourful to mount a discourse around repressed sexuality, personal sentiments, and political limitations. Wong Ping’s animations have been commissioned by M+, NOWNESS, as well as Prada, and he was awarded one of Perspective’s ’40 under 40’. Wong held a residency at the Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art (CFCCA) and has held exhibitions internationally in Manchester, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Berlin, and Paris, amongst other locations. His work is held in several permanent collections including M+, Hong Kong; Kadist Foundation, Paris; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Fosun Art Foundation, Shanghai; amongst others. In 2018, he was the recipient of the inaugural Camden Arts Emerging Arts Prize. In 2019, he was one of the winners of The Ammodo Tiger Short Competition at the 48th International Film Festival Rotterdam.
This event is part of Home Works 8: A Forum on Cultural Practices.