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Halcyon: New Short Films

Film Screening

10/08/16 7:30 pm


At this film screening curator Rachel Dedman explores science fiction in the contemporary video work of artists from or based in Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt.  Dedman will introduce four short films by Mirna Bamieh, Tom Bogaert, Lea Najjar and Larissa Sansour.

The screening follows on from Halcyon, an exhibition project Dedman is curating for the Transart Triennale (5th-7th August 2016, Berlin). Halcyon combines video, texts from five authors and specially-commissioned graphic design to expand upon traditional definitions of science fiction as a genre in writing and film. The project considers the ways in which sci-fi might offer models for the disruption of established narratives, alternative articulations of the self and subtle negotiations of the future.

Dedman focuses on the ways artists and writers use the critical possibilities of science fiction to address contemporary urgencies surrounding identity, placehood, conflict, landscape, history, technology and architecture.

The 45-minute screening will be followed by readings from texts by Muhammed Khudayyir, Darine Hotait and Arjuna Neuman, and a 30 minute Q&A.

Mirna Bamieh, The Pessoptimist, 13’26, 2015

Mirna Bamieh darkly mirrors the dystopic horror of the occupation in Palestine by intervening in Emile Habibi’s The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptimist, whose hapless protagonist was abducted by aliens.

Tom Bogaert, pepsi, cola, water?, 9’18, 2015

Legendary Afro-American jazz pioneer, poet and philosopher Sun Ra was fascinated by both outer space and ancient Egypt; Bogaert playfully recounts Ra’s 1971 concert in Giza, along with the disenchantment he felt from his visit.

Lea Najjar, Let There Be Light, 14′, 2016

This film explores the impact of artificial light on our society, its ability to affect and nurture the body, and its use in a techno-commercial context to control the psychological wellbeing of workers.

Larissa Sansour, Nation Estate, 9’02, 2012

In Nation Estate Sansour combines folklore and futurism to imagine a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood – in the form of a single colossal high-rise housing the entire Palestinian population.

Rachel Dedman (b.1989, London) is an independent curator and writer based in Beirut, Lebanon. Recent projects include commissions for apexart (New York) at five spaces across Beirut; MUU Galleria (Helsinki); 98weeks (Beirut); and the inaugural satellite exhibition of the Palestinian Museum (West Bank). She is currently curating exhibitions for the Transart Triennale (Berlin); Beirut Art Center (Beirut); and Dar el-Nimer (Beirut), and was selected for the international curator’s workshops of the Berlin Biennale and Gwangju Biennial. Rachel is the co-founder of research collective Polycephaly, and a recipient of support and scholarships from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Independent Curator’s International and the Getty Foundation. She studied history of art at the Universities of Oxford and Harvard.


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