The first public presentation of my residency happens in January. Come and let’s talk long after the films are through…
A one-night screening, works in The Permanent Longing for Elsewhere use frustration to explore the ways that paradigms of nationalism are breaking down. Understanding displacement as a common, contemporary experience, these films attempt to articulate how one’s origins figure into a self-positioning that is constantly in flux. By linking the works in The Permanent Longing for Elsewhere, I propose the development of personal ethical systems that negotiate the translation of historical, economic and cultural politics.
The program includes the following works:
Rainer Ganahl’s I Hate Karl Marx
In a hypothetical near future, a young German woman yells wildly, in Mandarin, at a bust of Karl Marx situated in Berlin’s Karl Marx Allee. Her frustration is born of the global dominance of communist China as an economic and cultural force, and the related dissolution of capitalism. The performativity of her anger is at turns funny, but also adept in the way it encourages a self-reflective examination of xenophobia as it exists in the West today.
Bouchra Khalili’s Mapping Journey #3
Mapping Journey #3 is part of an ongoing series that focuses on the confrontation between particular experiences of migration and the normativity of cartography. Filmed in Ramallah, Mapping Journey #3 shows the impossibility for a young Palestinian from Ramallah to visit his Palestinian fiancé who lives in East Jerusalem, despite the short distance of 14 kilometres that separate them. Instead, his route utilizes illegal roads to avoid checkpoints and the wall of separation, generating a clandestine, alternative map.
John Smith’s Flag Mountain
Situated in Southern Nicosia, the camera in Flag Mountain gazes north, crossing a wall that divides the island of Cyprus and its capital city between Greek Cypriots in the south, and Turkish Cypriots in the north. Here, John Smith takes a display of nationalism to its logical conclusion. Moving between macro and micro perspectives, Flag Mountain sets dramatic spectacle against everyday life as the inhabitants of both sides of the city go about their daily business.
Daniela Swarowsky’s Messages from Paradise #1, Egypt: Austria, About the Permanent Longing for Elsewhere
In a village in Egypt, young men dream of migrating to Europe where they hope to realize the good things they lack at home: money, freedom and new horizons. In Vienna, Egyptian migrants speak nostalgically about their homeland. Both sides of this fictional dialogue grapple with the difficultly of how to settle without being split between old dreams and lived realities.