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Feb 17, 2019 at 7:30 pm

The Revolution is not a Virgin

Featuring films by Marwa Arsanios, Sean Bonney, Cana Bilir-Meier, Şener Özmen, Nina Kreuzinger, and a performance by Hadi Fallahpisheh.

We’re thrilled to welcome back filmmaker and programmer Minou Norouzi for a brand new program, The Revolution is Not A Virgin, featuring the work of Marwa Arsanios, Sean Bonney, Cana Bilir-Meier, Şener Özmen, Nina Kreuzinger, and a performance by Hadi Fallahpisheh.

Countering the typically noisy, chaos-driven acts of ‘revolution’ and the campaigning desire of documentary as a political tool this programme of video works explores silence as a productive act of resistance. It asks what viewers can discern from gaps in artistic expression; from what is not shown; from what is not said?

In an introduction and post-screening discussion, Minou will discuss these works in relation to her current research project Revolutionary Patience: The Ethics of Non-interventionist Documentary Encounters, also included as part of the College Art Association, CAA 107th Annual Conference.


Introduction - Revolutionary Patience: The Ethics of Non-interventionist Documentary Encounters

Minou Norouzi

Have You Ever Killed a Bear? Or Becoming Jamila

Marwa Arsanios, 2013-14, 25 min.

A video that uses the history of a magazine – Cairo’s Al-Hilal ‘50s and ‘60s collection – as the starting point for an inquiry into Jamila Bouhired, the Algerian freedom fighter. An actress designated to play her role is showing the magazine’s covers to the camera. From the different representations of Jamila in cinema to her assimilation and promotion through the magazine, the performance attempts to look at the history of socialist projects in Egypt, anti-colonial wars in Algeria, and the way they have promoted and marginalized feminist projects. The clear gender division used to marginalize women from the public sphere was overcome for a short moment during the Algerian war of independence (Jamila becoming its icon). Different voices and film and print material are used to explore this history. What does it mean to play the role of the freedom fighter? What does it mean to become an icon? Between role playing and political projects, how does the constitution of the subject serve certain political purposes?

In Hell

Sean Bonney, 2017, 9 min.

In Hell is a series of spoken-word performances to camera filmed in Sean Bonney’s apartment in Kreuzberg, Berlin by Bonney himself. About the series Bonney says, “The poems are from a sequence titled “Our Death”, which is loosely based on the impressions of a displaced British person watching Brexit from afar, and being troubled by entirely rational apocalyptic visions.”

My Name is Foreigner

Cana Bilir-Meier, 2013, 7 min

Semra Ertan was born in Turkey, 1956 and moved to her parents to the federal republic of Germany in 1972. She worked as a construction draftswomen as well as an interpreter and wrote over 350 poems. In 1982 Semra Ertan burnt herself in Hamburg to give a sign against racism in Germany.

What does an artist actually want?

Şener Özmen, 2012, 2 min.

In the video “What Does an Artist Actually Want?” (2012), Özmen himself is seen standing in a ploughed field, turning to face different cardinal directions, before speaking directly to the camera and gesturing at the ground, then at the viewer and, finally, with arms outstretched, at the empty landscape around him. What he is saying is entirely drowned out by the sound of airplanes taking off and landing. Lip-readers (and wall-label-readers) perhaps understood him to be asking: “Do you think it’s possible for me to influence global art from where I am standing?” Even though we cannot hear him clearly, and he certainly cannot hear us, our collective reply should be a resounding “yes”. – H. G. Masters

Rettungsgriffe (Rescue Grips)

Nina Kreuzinge, 2017, 8 min.

[engl. trans.]: 16 mm, black and white found footage showing rescue grips are severed, slowed down, reassembled and serenaded until a delicate Pas-de-Deux transpires between the one who knows his grip and the other who lays wounded, almost fainting, and lets themselves be led, carried and helped. This film lends comfort.

Truth Has Four Legs

Hadi Fallahpisheh, 2017, Performance, 10 min

In his performance titled Truth has Four Legs  artist Hadi Fallahpisheh uses large scale scrolls of photo collages to narrate his experience as an immigrant temporarily marooned in the Republican heartland, an area of upstate New York, in the middle of the 2016 US presidential campaign. The details of this story are based on true events and are supported by man sized photographic prints made and performed by Fallahpisheh to heart-warmingly tragic effect. Fallahpisheh calls these prints “restaged documents”. Questioning the ability of representation to convey truths, Fallahpisheh performance invites collective dialogues on desire, resistance, memory and surveillance through the act of storytelling.

110 min

Minou Norouzi is a filmmaker, film curator and writer based in London (UK) and Athens (GR). Her research examines the objectification the real in the context of interdisciplinary documentary practices. Her films have been shown at South London Gallery (London), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), Telic Arts Exchange (Los Angeles), and at film festivals including the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Kasseler Dok Fest, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. As an independent film curator, she initiated the Arts Council England funded Sheffield Fringe project in 2011 and has organized film-related events at Bloc Projects (Sheffield), Whitechapel Gallery (London), UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art (New York), SALT Beyoğlu (Istanbul) and the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art among other venues.

Hadi Fallahpisheh works primarily with photography, as well as performance and installation to destabilize visions of a stable and singular subject. Often commenting on conditions of displacement, his work questions the ability of representation to convey truths, revealing the gaps between public perception and personal experience. Fallahpisheh moved to New York in 2014, and received an MFA in Photography from Bard College in 2016. He is a graduate of the Creative Practices Program in Photography at the ICP, New York. He has presented work at venues including Simone Subal, Kai Matsumaiya, Off Vendome, PAGE-NYC, ICP, and Callicoon Fine Arts, and in Tehran at TMOCA, Delgosha Gallery, Dastan Gallery and Maryam Harandi Gallery, among others.

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Feb 17, 2019
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Free – $10.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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