In conversation with the main ideas and concepts underpinning the exhibition project “Internet of Things: Another World is Possible”, we will be screening video works from the Khalid Shoman Collection exploring body politics, movement and surveillance in light of the state of emergency.
Video works: I Only Wish That I Could Weep - Walid Ra’ad (The Atlas Group), Smuggling Lemons - Jumana Emil Abboud, Memorial - Adel Abidin, Silence of Sheep - Amal Kenawy.
The screening will be followed by a discussion with the residents Areej Huniti, Ahmed Isam Aldin and Tamara Nassar.
Walid Ra’ad (The Atlas Group)
I Only Wish That I Could Weep, 2003
This document is attributed to Operator #17, a Lebanese Army intelligence officer who was assigned to monitor the Corniche, a seaside boardwalk in Beirut. From 1997 on, the officer decided to videotape the sunset instead of his assigned target. This videotape recounts the operator’s story and concentrates on the footage he was permitted to keep after his dismissal.
Jumana Emil Abboud
Smuggling Lemons, 2006
In Smuggling Lemons (2006) the artist repetitively records the social reality and exhausting procedure of crossing the checkpoints between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Making several journeys through the checkpoints, she smuggles the fruit of an entire lemon tree from its garden in Jerusalem. By presenting the landscape and the monotony of the journey, the video records the way that repression works, and the lemons that the artist carries in her arms and on her body take on different connotations.
On the third day of the American bombardment of Baghdad in 1991, specifically the bombardment of the Republic Bridge that’s located in the heart of the city of Baghdad, connecting the two banks of the Tigris River...
With devastation and shock, I cycled there the next day. As I approached the bridge, which had been broken off completely in two places, I saw a strange scene: A dead cow on one piece of the fallen bridge. I pushed aside my sorrow for the bridge as the unexpected image occupied my mind, for it was unusual to see a cow in central Baghdad. I started imagining different scenarios about the death of this poor cow. Why was she there in the first place? Where had she come from? Why was she alone?
Lately, I have been consumed with thoughts on our human need to gather, to feel connected and be assured that we are not alone. I remembered that cow, a social animal falling to her death alone. And after nearly 20 years, I envision the circumstances of the horrible ending, as she jumps in vain trying to reach the other side.
Silence of Sheep, 2009
In December 2009, Kenawy staged a performance in Cairo where she tapped directly into a simmering discontent on the regime that had taken its toll on the living conditions of a populace increasingly spiralling into poverty, while at the same time making a not-so-subtle comment on the complacency of these same people with the power structures destroying them. It became one of those pivotal moments where art seemed to anticipate events that had yet to happen.