As art critic and journalist Steven Litt puts it, this is “a remarkably beautiful document that peels away layers of cliché and stereotypes to reveal the radiant humanity of Teixeira’s subjects, who come from countries torn by civil war or the fight against ISIS, the Islamic State.”
We’re delighted to host José Carlos Teixeira for the NYC premiere of this exciting feature along with the NYC launch of its accompanying print publication On Exile – a monograph published on the occasion of Teixeira’s solo exhibition at MAAT in Lisbon, Portugal.
At the intersection of art, anthropology, and politics, On Exile, elsewhere within here is an experimental documentary that reflects on the refugee experience, expanding on issues of migration, displacement, and otherness. As a quiet meditation, it develops intimate psychological portraits of Muslim refugees from Syria, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia, resettled in North America (Cleveland, OH). Concerned with the ethics of ethnographic encounter and representation, the artist asks: How to represent without patronizing or speaking on the behalf of others? How to generate a process of empathy and intersubjectivity? Using interview as an art practice and cinematic territory, this film attempts to listen and restore the voices and bodies of refugees, as opposed to a dominant discourse which often denies them personal and political agency. On Exile reframes assumptions of home and belonging, delves into the challenges of language and translation, and explores the complex adjustment to another culture by those who, forcibly displaced, seek safety and a new beginning.
“Every refugee, regardless of nationality, race or creed, points to the refugee within ourselves”.
(K. C. Cirtautas)
José Carlos Teixeira will be in attendance for a conversation with writer and scholar Steven Henry Madoff, following the program. Madoff is one of the contributing writers in Teixeira’s 2018 monograph.