CPS – ¿The Rest is History?

Research, planning tool and masterplan for Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, 2010

Film Programme – Aida Eltoire

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Fabrication offers a movement into the ethnographic changes that occurred in documented history. Offering a series of filmographies aligned by a single subject: Adoption, each sequence offers a visual narrative that at first will only reference a distinctive feature by acknowledging the Stamp of Authenticity through the everyday heroes of filmmaking history. Tarzan and Jane, Antar and Abla, Irma La Deuce, are all general icons that will then lead into the collection of a regional archive.  A re-adaptation of an adaptation is re-invented to re-assist its contemporary location: Spaghetti Western revises al-Andalus, and al-Andalus reconsiders the identity of its international landmark.


The conventional becomes the Experiment. The moment, where everything has been done, but not seen can then be re-approached from another incongruous angle where the concept of ‘Keep Recording’ will only accentuate what has always been there in everyday society, but like the everyday instrument, it will be used to film, but not thought of to screen. Then comes an adoption of Silence: A series of videographies will replace the boundaries of social migration, and only acknowledge the movement that has occurred without restricting the distinction of places. It becomes a silent change that then leads us into the asylum: Our final destination is where the refuge will only adopt its mere existence.
To all the hybrids that migrated socially, their movements are still very much recordable, identifiable; though very much confined, the shifted terrains are still quite visible. The Fabrication has taken those recorded movements and re-adapted them to fit a larger context for dialogue on the changes that have occurred in contemporary history.
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WEEK 1 / Wednesday, October 13th
Feature / Adopting the Hallmark
Afreet Miraty (My Wife’s Spell), 1968
 (Egypt)
Directed by Fateen Abdel Wahab, 100 mins
Based on the novel by Lucianne Lumbaire
Aida’s dream came true when she married the love of her life. Once wedlock struck, and Saleh got consumed into chasing a promotion, he is then less attentive to his wife. Spending her overly available time at the movie theatre across the street, Aida becomes a hypnotized victim to all the featured films, and changes into the love struck protagonist characters she screens every day. Her husband returns home to a new disposition everyday, from Irma La Douce to Tarzan’s Jane, Saleh never knows what to expect from his domestic arrivals. In a quest to resolve his wife’s incongruence’s, he must become part of her world one way or another to break her out of it, adopting a Godfather character that will only eventually adhere back to the conservative lifestyle he was once part of.
Image still: Film poster taken from http://www.elcinema.com
Distributed by El Laithy Films
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WEEK 2 / Tuesday, October 19th
Videography / Adopting the History

Charles Bronson is Ibn Arabi, 2010
Produced by Dalia Neis, 13’26
A re-adaptation from Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in the West  (1968, 145 mins)
(Leone’s film to follow Neis’ video screening)

Charles Bronson is Ibn Arabi is an intervention into the sites of the Spaghetti Western museums and studios in Southern Spain. Exploring the relationship between the history of the popular film genre of Spaghetti Westerns, and the cultural history of Spain during the Islamic Empire from 711 – 1492. The film also takes on an iconic re-adaptation to Once Upon A Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968), as a micro parallel study of colonialism and the myth of the frontier of the American West and the Spanish South.
Charles Bronson, who plays the role of nomadic indigenous ‘Crazy Horse’ in this context, invokes and is accordingly displaced into multiple figures from the history of al-Andalus: A medieval Islamic scientist; a Jewish rationalist philosopher; a Sufi mystic; and a female Berber warrior who lived in North Africa and Spain before and during the Islamic Empire. This video is a visual adaptation of a popular film genre from Spaghetti Westerns, originally shot and produced in Southern Spain, back into the discourse of Arab culture. The programme would be performative in nature, and function as a collective ritual and forum to question current pre-conceived assumptions about the notion of Europe, and cultural transference and circulation, within the particular context of the border between Northern Africa and Southern Spain.
Image to the right: Video still Courtesy of the artist (Dalia Neis)
Image to the left: Poster from Once Upon A Time in the West (Paramount), Wikipedia.Org
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WEEK 3 / Tuesday, October 26th
Documentary / Adopting the Experiment

Keep Recording, 2008 (Egypt)
Directed by Bassem Yousri, 45 mins

Keep Recording is Bassem Yousri’s first attempt to making a video. Initially with a formal training in painting, he realized at some point his paintings needed to say words, to deliver more direct and tactile messages in order to initiate a stronger dialogue with the viewer. In the summer of 2008, he began the concept of making an experimental documentary in two separate segments. The first, titled Keep Recording, shot in Cairo, Egypt and the second, titled Still Recording, shot in Philadelphia, USA. Keep Recording is an attempt to capture an image of contemporary Egyptian society through the juxtaposition of random shots capturing conversations, places, and happenings in what seems like a vacation amateur video. It represents diverse, and sometimes contradictory, religious and social orientations and points of view; that are not necessarily in harmony and acceptance of their difference. On the other hand, it tries to point at a dangerous shift in the Egyptian society towards fundamentalism and tries to challenge the difficulty of discussing religious, social, and political matters that oppose the mainstream conservative voice. The documentary creates a democratic space where all opinions are randomly presented in a playful context used over and over again.
Video Still courtesy of the artist (Bassem Yousri)
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WEEK 4 / Tuesday, November 2nd
Videography / Adopting the Silence

Restore the Boundaries, 2009 (Pakistan)
Produced by Naiza Khan
Single Channel Video, DVD; 5 mins.

Khan addresses the dialectics of loss and transformation. Manora Island has a history of a defense fort on the Arabian Sea. It consists of a series of old myths and new histories through a rusting graveyard of fishing trawlers. This historic, yet non-elite space possesses a different texture to a modernizing metropolis of Karachi.
Video Still courtesy of the artist (Naiza Khan)
Géographie Imaginaire, 2005
Pauline M’Barek, 13,57”
(Tunisia/Germany)

Géographie imaginaire is a subjective report on a deliberatly non-documentary, i.e. imaginary journey. Pauline M’Barek’s video is based on intimate obersevations that she made during the preaparations and traditional rites for her female cousin’s wedding in Tunisia.
Provided by Lowave Distributors (Paris) / http://www.lowave.com
GHOSTS, 2008 (Finland)
Directed by Jan Ijäs, 15”

Morgan Devereaux is dancing on the roof of a former paper envelope factory turned home for refugees. He has been there for a week, or months, he doesn’t know. Merely existing, the refugees are observed cooking, watching TV, break dancing in the recreation room, their children playing in the playroom, and narratives of fornication adopt the unseen. Jan Ijäs captures life in the center for asylum seekers in a bitter, yet very toned and meditative manner. Even speaking of death seems unconditional. Two of the inmates are being interviewed, and most of the time Morgan’s narration directs the slow-motioned images, sometimes altered by a time-lapse: “Time has a new meaning here.”
Video Still courtesy of the artist (Jan Ijäs)
Dead Sweet, 2002 (Palestine)
Produced by Aissa H. Deebi
Single Channel Video, DVD; 11 mins

Dead Sweet is about how political roles are being extracted and presented. A dark Swiss chocolate toy soldier is gripped and voraciously devoured by a giant white girl.
Video Still courtesy of the artist (Aissa H. Deebi)
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WEEK 5 / Tuesday, November 9th
Documentary / Adopting the Refuge

Laissez-Passer, 2009
Directed by Ghamkin Saleh, 42”
(Switzerland)

Documenting the harsh reality of immigrants in Switzerland, their difficult integration and acceptance into new realities, Ghamkin Saleh of Syrian-Kurdish base, sought to present the laws of social migration for 3 characters from Syria, Iraq and Sudan. Seeking their fortune in Switzerland for a better life, their rights for higher learning go unrecognized in a system they are foreign to, yet must adept after leaving their homeland. Caught in a stalemate, they fight against themselves, not knowing what their lacking recognition holds. Ghamkin graduated with a music diploma from Syria, and then fled to Switzerland, where he now lives since 1994. In 2009 he received a degree in the film studies program at the F + F School for Arts and Media Design in Zurich, and founded a film production house titled GmBH, to recognize filmmakers with migratory stories.
Poster from Laissez-Passer courtesy of filmmaker (Ghamkin Saleh) and production house: ARTA Film Productions
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WEEK 6 / Tuesday, November 16th
Documentary / Adopting the Finale

Madeline Djerejian
The Last of Beirut, 2006 (USA)
Single Channel Video, DVD; 23 mins

A silent video weaves together text and image to construct a contemplative vision of displacement and loss on the eve of the civil war in Lebanon in 1975. Drawn from still photographs and recollections of family, friends and acquaintances, the video presents an account of events leading up to the evacuation from Beirut of the expatriate community.
Video Still courtesy of the artist (Madeline Djerejian)
Le Magicien, 2008 (Tangiers)
Yto Barrada, 18”
Provided by The LOOP Barcelona (Please be in contact with Emilio)

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Manifesta 8 Film programme (Centro Parraga, Espacio 0, Murcia) – A weekly event project in collaboration with CENDEAC Murcia.

Programmed by Aida Eltorie (Egypt)


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1983, Cairo, Egypt. Lives and works in Cairo.

Aida Eltorie is a cultural producer from the Middle East. As the Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Practices Art Journal (Dubai/London), she has recently worked with The Townhouse Gallery of contemporary art (Cairo) and curated projects with The International Museum of Women (San Francisco) and Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council. Eltorie has worked as a curatorial intern at The Brooklyn Museum’s Feminist Art Center and Christie¿s auction house (New York), production manager at Bidoun Magazine (New York), and been involved in a number of international projects with artists and curators, including Gregory Niemeyer, Khaled Hafez, Aissa Deebi, Wesley Willis, Ingo Giezendanner, Giovanni Carmine and others from the Middle East and Europe.
Eltorie is currently completing her Masters degree in Arabic Studies, specialising in Islamic Art and Architecture.

Written by cpsman8

November 25, 2009 at 10:50 am

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