Germany, Belgium, France / 2022
23 min. / Single-channel video installation / Original version
In this fable, in a form of an animated triptych, a Gorgone is brought to life. Crowned not with snakes, but long projections that can detect the pasts and futures of a city. The present, we learn, is frozen in Medusa’s gaze. In the work, the gaze can be understood as a medium to investigate these different tenses. The texts-songs intertwine testimonies and myths from protagonists like: the Alexandrian historian bearing witness to an earthquake in AD 365, Carbon-12 and Carbon-14—radioactive formations that are a result of cosmic ray strikes—, and Medusa avatars, as voicing narrators that take on multiple roles. Here, both the past and future are a myth that one needs either to forget or to look forward to. And how in this struggle to look at their eyes and not to, all at once, once more we see the lost, the forgotten, the future-pasts of a city.
Production Jasmina Metwaly, Bozar – Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Mucem – Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée. Director Jasmina Metwaly. Written by Jasmina Metwaly. Cinematography Jasmina Metwaly. Editing Mohamed A. Gawad. Sound design Kinda Hasan. Music Alaa Abdulatif, Mohamed A. Gawad, Jasmina Metwaly. Sound Jasmina Metwaly. Costumes Marta Szypulska. Animation Nurah Farahat. With Alaa Abdulatif.
Jasmina Metwaly is an artist and filmmaker based in Cairo and Berlin, and a member of Mosireen collective and media archive 858.ma. She works in video and film, and has recently started drawing again. Rooted in performance and theater, her works focus on process-based practices that have a social function generating tension between participants and audiences. Metwaly’s work has been exhibited at international art venues and festivals. From 2010 till 2015 she also collaborated on projects with filmmaker Philip Rizk. After FROM BEHIND OF THE MONUMENT (2013), OUT ON THE STREET (2015) with Philip Rizk, and the exhibition WE ARE NOT WORRIED IN THE LEAST (2018), this is her fourth Forum Expanded participation.
Films: 2008: Counter-Points (4 min.), Splash II (8 min., video installation). 2009: Remarks on Colour (Red Version) (1 min.), Flew Like Plywood over Paris (5 min., video installation), Anti-Contraption I (5 min.), But What Do the Splinters Reflect (6 min.). 2011: Remarks on Medan (32 min., video installation). 2012: About the Donkey That Wanted to Become a Painting (7 min.), Crucifiction (Yellow Version) (4 min., video installation). 2013: From Behind of the Monument (16 min., Forum Expanded 2014). 2015: Barra Fel Share' / Out on the Street (71 min., Forum Expanded 2015). 2018: We Are Not Worried in the Least (video installation). 2022: On this shore, here.
Karina Griffith talks with artist Jasmina Metwaly