Artists and film-makers, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige work in many media, such as video
installations, photography, fiction films, documentary essays and performance art. Made from archives, family objects, personal stories and daily experiences, their works unwind narratives which question the construction of imaginaries and the writing of contemporary history. With an assertive experimental dimension, the artists divert and re-invent the recurrent images of our times marked by wars, the loss of ideals and the societal upheavals which derive from them.
The video diptych presented here, entitled Remembering the Light, was created in 2016. With a
restrained dramaturgy, the images develop a double narrative. Five characters dive and let themselves go down, evoking the uncertain fate of those who cross the seas. In these depths a submerged city appears, evidence of war, such as military vehicles and other strange ruins. On the parallel screen, a multi-coloured scarf, plunges slowly into the water.
These images in dialogue invite the exploration of a singular field of perception: in the sea depths, the spectrum of colours shrinks to complete darkness. The colours change and disappear one after another: first the red, then orange, yellow, green and finally blue, before complete darkness, black. The divers’ coloured clothes, the rainbow scarf which has fallen in the water, thus lose the vibrancy of their hues as they sink into the abyss. But if the submarine depths are illuminated, the plankton remembers the light and reveals its luminescence. Turning its back on a literal interpretation, the poetry of the images thus questions our perceptual habits. Nevertheless, the latent tragedy is interrupted by a re-ascent towards the light, a salutary impetus towards the surface.
2 vidéos HD, couleur, durée : 8 mn. Coproduction Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah
© Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige. Galerie In Situ — fabienne leclerc
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