Akram Zaatari Artist Talk and Film Screening at Albert Long Hall
15 March Saturday at Albert Long Hall, South Campus-Bebek
15:00 Akram Zaatari Artist Talk
Moderator: Rana Zincir Celal (Columbia Global Centers Turkey - Program Manager)
16: 00 A work by Akram Zaatari: “This Day”
A Musée Nicéphore Niépce commission, 2003, 86 minutes
Language: Arabic and English. Turkish subtitles
“Akram Zaatari has produced more than forty videos, a dozen books, and countless installations of photographic material, all pursuing a range of interconnected themes, subjects, and practices related to excavation, political resistance, the lives of former militants, the legacy of an exhausted left, intimacies among men, the circulation of images in times of war, and the play of tenses inherent to various letters that have been lost, found, buried, discovered, or otherwise delayed in reaching their destinations.
Zaatari represented Lebanon at the Venice biennale 2013. He has taken part of Documenta 13 (2012), the Istanbul Biennial (2011), and the Venice Biennale (2007), among many other exhibitions. He has shown his films, videos, photographs, and other documents in institutions such as the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in London, Kunstverein and Haus der Kunst in Munich, Le Magasin in Grenoble, MUSAC in Leon, MUAC in Mexico City, Videobrasil in Sao Paulo, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Zaatari was born in Saida in 1966. He lives and works in Beirut. His films have screened at the Berlinale, Rotterdam, Toronto, and Oberhausen film festivals.” by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
A dream like montage of images gathered from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, This Day examines archive photographs ranging from portraits of Bedouins in the desert to images of the Arab-Israeli conflict circulating on the Internet. The imagery moves from an idyllic rural past, when the central conflict was between camel and car, to the strife ridden present propaganda and urban alienation.
The outcome of a three-year long research on the circulation of images in the Middle East, This Day is at once an extroverted voyage in geography and an introverted voyage in memory and the recording of the daily. Through video and photography the film evokes movement and stillness in image making and in geography in the actual divided region. It starts in the ever-changing the desert, where presumably, Arab civilization(s) originate, and unfolds to become an observatory of images at times of war, where images of cityscapes are observed, and produced in the light of politically charged present and past.
“Akram Zaatari’s This Day is a landmark in the field of film, video and photography, a pivotal work that has contributed to the increasing spotlight on artistic practices in the Arab World. Eighty-six minutes in length and shot in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, it is part road movie, part meditative journal. Commissioned by the Museum Nicéphore Niépce in France, Zaatari’s subtly constructed montage of moving and still images is all the more remarkable for the way in which a history of the present is woven into a composition of simplicity and poise, one that is scintillating in its originality and lightness.” Suzanne Cotter
(thanks to Ezgi Ince for the subtitle translation)