Soapy Postmodern Bathwater
The film will be available HERE to watch on the weekend 18-19 September.
Watch Soapy Postmodern Bathwater a short film (24 minutes) produced by Fehras Publishing Practices for the Sharjah Biennale 13 Tamawuj in 2017. The film takes the viewer into a not-so-distant future, to a language laboratory where researchers analyse the bodies of people who have collapsed while reading bilingual art books. The film is a part of the series of Institutional Terms; a long-term research project that follows the impact of the language, term, and institution on global artistic practices.
Soapy Postmodern Bathwater tracks a strange phenomenon that has led intellectuals, artists, curators, and exhibition visitors into physical paralysis and to become comatose. Using an analytical laboratory process, the film studies the effect of bilingualism on cultural bodies, which begins with the bifurcation of the bilingual body and leads to the subject to fall into a coma. It traces the authority imposed by language – the construction of terms and institutions – on the cultural body and examines the effect of language on artistic practice and artwork.
Fehras Publishing Practices (Sami Rustom, Omar Nicolas and Kenan Darwich) is an artist collective founded in 2015 in Berlin. It researches the history and presence of publishing and its entanglement in the socio-political and cultural sphere in the Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and the Arab diaspora. It observes publishing as a possibility for creating, and accumulating knowledge and initiate projects in different formats such as installations, films, publications, lectures and performances aiming to extend the notion of publishing.
The Berlin Artistic Research Grant Programme awards grants to artists conducting research in the arts; it also supports the exchange amongst artistic researchers and the formation of a larger artistic research context through public programmes. The programme thus serves an ongoing critical questioning of what artistic research might encompass, its foundations, procedures and modes of presentation and sharing – in dialogue with publics.
Images: Stills from Soapy Postmodern Bathwater by Fehras Publishing Practices. Courtesy of the artists.