War

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a mircrocosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

"... Basma Alsharif’s Home Movies Gaza, a film that captures the impossibly politicized domestic sphere of the Gaza Strip, under the constant hum and buzz of overhead drones."

Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English Version) is an experimental documentary about "The Western Hostage Crisis." The crisis refers to the abduction and detention of Westerners like Terry Anderson, and Terry Waite in Lebanon in the 80s and early 90s by "Islamic militants." This episode directly and indirectly consumed Lebanese, U.S., French, and British political and public life, and precipitated a number of high-profile political scandals like the Iran-Contra affair in the U.S.

The author assembles a genre picture of the contemporary FRG with shots of scenes where life is rehearsed, ability/durability is tested. Wherever one looks, people appear as actors playing themselves; they take on roles. A play in the theater of life made up of training courses, fitness tests for things and people. Be it in birth preparation classes for expectant parents or in practice runs for sales talks, on the military training ground or during role-plays for educational purposes. Everywhere the incessant effort to be prepared for the emergency of "reality" can be felt.  

In an interview I did earlier this year for the Milan Game Video/Art exhibition, I deflected a question about the connection between Hymn of Reckoning and Reckoning 3, discouraging the idea that there was much of a link between the two videos, apart from their names and their use of video game material. Now that I’ve thought about it more, I can tease out more connections.

The vanishing point of Images of The World is the conceptual image of the 'blind spot' of the evaluators of aerial footage of the IG Farben industrial plant taken by the Americans in 1944. Commentaries and notes on the photographs show that it was only decades later that the CIA noticed what the Allies hadn't wanted to see: that the Auschwitz concentration camp is depicted next to the industrial bombing target.

Kindah, 2016

The Diaspora Suite

For over 70 years, Colombia has been confronted with internal armed conflict. Over the years, the outlines of the conflict have grown indistinct. A climate of generalized violence has gradually settled over society as a whole.

Violence and barbarity have worked themselves into every aspect of daily life, and fine traces of it mark the streets. Through a multitude of these traces, perhaps the narrative of this hazy war will finally take a firmer shape. 

Zaatari’s contribution to Lebanon’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennial 2013. This video offers a portrait of a public school and a tribute to those refusing illegal military orders.

¡Macho Shogun! was created by Reed Anderson and Daniel Davidson over a single weekend some time in 2000.  It's your basic monster-robot / destroy-city kind of video that we wanted to make when we were kids but never did.

This title is only available on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

¡Macho Shogun! was created by Reed Anderson and Daniel Davidson over a single weekend some time in 2000.  It's your basic monster-robot / destroy-city kind of video that we wanted to make when we were kids but never did.

This title is only available on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

We recently went to Guinea Bissau to research the guerrilla schools of the mangroves. Instead, we soon became ourselves the apprentices and the first lesson we had to learn was how to walk. If you walk straight, placing your heels on the ground first, you promptly slip and fall in the dams of the flooded mangrove rice field or you get stuck in the mangrove mud. You need to lower your body, flex your knees and stick your toes vertically into the mud, extend your arms forwards in a conscious and present movement. In the mangrove school the learning happens with the whole body.

We recently went to Guinea Bissau to research the guerrilla schools of the mangroves. Instead, we soon became ourselves the apprentices and the first lesson we had to learn was how to walk. If you walk straight, placing your heels on the ground first, you promptly slip and fall in the dams of the flooded mangrove rice field or you get stuck in the mangrove mud. You need to lower your body, flex your knees and stick your toes vertically into the mud, extend your arms forwards in a conscious and present movement. In the mangrove school the learning happens with the whole body.

As a verite documentation of the May 1, 1971 demonstration against the Vietnam War staged in Washington, D.C., Mayday Realtime presents a largely unedited flow of events from the point of view of participants on the street. Cort's camera captures the random, disorienting incidents that marked the day - demonstrators holding up traffic in the Capitol, skirmishes with police, on-the-scene interviews with onlookers. The camera impulsively responds to shouting and movement on the street.

As a verite documentation of the May 1, 1971 demonstration against the Vietnam War staged in Washington, D.C., Mayday Realtime presents a largely unedited flow of events from the point of view of participants on the street. Cort's camera captures the random, disorienting incidents that marked the day - demonstrators holding up traffic in the Capitol, skirmishes with police, on-the-scene interviews with onlookers. The camera impulsively responds to shouting and movement on the street.

This surprisingly candid tape between two men looking to avoid the draft and a draft counselor offers unique entry into conversations that often only took place behind closed doors during the Vietnam War. The Videofreex capture the length of a discussion, set in an office room piled high with stacks of records and forms, during which a counselor guides two college-age men through a series of questions that they must manage and address in order to carefully navigate the legal system.

Mike Builds a Shelter is a performance comedy with apocalyptic overtones, a narrative extension of Smith's installation Government Approved Home Fallout Shelter/Snack Bar. In this darkly humorous morality play, Smith contrasts Mike's rural adventures in a pastoral landscape with his home fallout shelter. Throughout, the dual narratives are intercut with episodes of Mike's Show on cable, in which Mike's banal domestic activities are eagerly if passively received by living-room TV viewers.

An episode from a Lebanese TV series entitled "Image + Sound."  Each episode in this groundbreaking series is based on paralleling TV news images alongside staged events.  Mourning Images was shot at Studio Bayroumi in the historic district of Saida, Lebanon.

Made in Germany, October 14th, 2004

While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.

Museum Piece is the second episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

Akram Zaatari's Nature Morte is a recording of a silent moment, in which two men prepare themselves for a military action. At the end, the older one leaves with a weapon on his shoulder, and the younger decides to stay.

Footage of a May 1970 rally featuring political speakers, including members of the Black Panther Party. Abbie Hoffman talks about fighting imperialism at home, and the Chicago 7 Conspiracy Trial. As the crowd chants “Free Bobby Seale,” the Videofreex attempt to interview several National Guardsmen. We see young black men talking to the troops, with one man telling a Guardsman, “I’ve got nothing... I went to Vietnam for you."

Notes from the Underground is a fragmented music video made from the 151 eye blinks George Bush made during his televised speech declaring war with Iraq. Bush’s eye blinks have been encoded into Morse Code to spell out a statement from 1969 by The Weather Underground.

“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.”

--Toni Morrison, “Beloved”

O, Persecuted turns the act of restoring Kassem Hawal’s 1974 Palestinian Militant film Our Small Houses into a performance possible only through film. One that involves speed, bodies, and the movement of the past into a future that collides ideology with escapism.

O.U.T. is a work documenting the emergence of computer games which train players to fight in cities among civilians, (Military Operations in Urban Terrain). O.U.T. contains sampled footage and machinima (stories told with video games) from five military simulation games. Following is a documentation of the performance, (Operation Urban Terrain), an urban wireless intervention by Anne-Marie Schleiner and an international cast of game expert and art activist collaborators.

In okay bye-bye, so named for what Cambodian children shouted to the U.S. ambassador in 1975 as he took the last helicopter out of Phnom Phenh in advance of the Khmer Rouge, Rebecca Baron explores the relationship of history to memory.