Artists’ films take centre-stage at Jameel Arts Centre

Published: 18 January 2020 - 4:55 p.m.
By: Digital Studio Middle East Staff
Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai's contemporary art institution has a focus on film this January, with a range of screenings running through the month.

UAE premieres include films and documentaries by renowned artists and cineastes Ghassan Halwani, Haig Aivazian, Arjuna Neuman, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Alain Resnais, Chris Marker, Ghislain Cloquet and Nicolas Wadimoff.

The films will be screened in Jameel Arts Centre's Gallery 9, located on the second floor, and are free and accessible to all. The programme started on January 9 and will run until February 8, 2020.

The multi-film programme brings together artists’ films that explore themes reflected in the exhibitions on show at the Jameel Arts Centre including Phantom Limb, which includes works by 13 artists and interrogates material heritage, posing critical questions around the writing of history and the weaponization of heritage. Films that correspond to this theme include: Erased¬_Ascent of the Invisible, Les Statues Meurent Aussi and The Apollo of Gaza.

Ghassan Halwani's first feature film Erased_Ascent of the Invisible weaves archival footage with animated sequences and documentation of his interventions on the walls of Beirut. The film aims to trace the resonance of past events, focusing on those who disappeared during the Lebanese Civil War. Halwani is an artist and illustrator based in Beirut.

Also showing this month is Alain Resnais, Chris Marker and Ghislain Cloquet's Les Statues Meurent Aussi (Statues Also Die). Produced in 1953, this seminal film looks at the transformation that objects undergo when removed from their original context into that of the museum, where codes of display and classification deny objects their lived significance.

The Jameel Arts Centre will also screen The Apollo of Gaza by filmmaker and producer Nicolas Wadimoff. The gripping film investigates the strange circumstances around the discovery and disappearance of a statue of the Greek god Apollo in the waters off Gaza. The film sheds light on the intricate politics of the circulation of artefacts in and out of Palestine.

Nora Razian, head of exhibitions at the Jameel Arts Centre commented: "Recognising the growing centrality of the moving image in contemporary artists' practice, the Jameel Arts Centre is committed to showcasing new and important work by artists and experimental filmmakers from across the globe, through specially curated screenings as well as through its diverse exhibitions programme."

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