Larissa Sansour Presents Her Latest Video Installation in Exhibition at Sabrina Amrani Madrid
Going back to the time when the dividing line of mythological stories and historical facts became somewhat blurred, for many marks the spot for the birth of the science fiction genre. Projecting into an imaginary space, utopian visions of what the future may look, or the deepest fears of what the future holds, creates the space for surreal narratives. One such surreal scenario, Larissa Sansour created for her second solo exhibition at Sabrina Amrani Gallery in Madrid. Submitting the gritty Middle Eastern politics to high production and science fiction, In the Future They Ate from The Finest Porcelain, her latest film, underlines the absurdity of the situation and also brings about a dystopian future scenario.
Science fiction of Larrisa Sansour’s Exhibition
Feeling most comfortable when functioning in a parallel space that is not separate from political reality, but somehow comments on it from a different portal, Larrisa Sansour uses science fiction to explore the on-going conflict in the Middle East. Feeling that the repetitive images of violence no longer are seen, Sansour with her work attempts to create a meta-space. This new space, functioning according to its own autonomous abstractions and logic, artist views as most effective in finding solutions for dealing with the issues at hand. Her science fiction is never separate from reality, since with it, Sansour finds a sufficient way for the re-introduction of the viewer to the overwhelming recurring images of violence and destruction. The real environment of the armed conflict, detached from a certain space and time, creates room for an impossible scenarios, therefore creating room for possible new viewpoints of looking at the conflict.
Larisa Sansour’s science fiction also helps to acknowledge a sense of nostalgia that is present when it comes to Palestine. Sansour recognizes the ambiguous existence of Palestine, since when one talks about it, it is never in the present but is either in the remembering of the past or in the imagining of a better future. In In The Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, the Palestinian national dream is projected into an unspecified time in the future. In her latest work, it is time that is in the spotlight, and the past, present, and future become tools of ideology and control. Referencing through a character of a “narrative terrorist”, the sci-fi time-travel, here used with the desire of the character to change the history of her people, Sansour uses to flip the diplomatic terms of “facts on the ground”. In the story where millions of pieces of porcelain are sent from the future with the aim to legitimize the present, everything is flipped, and transformed are the so-called new places of archeological deposits where porcelain pieces, marked with the distinctive keffiyeh pattern, will be buried and found. Acknowledging the fact that the national collective identity is created by the rescue of the lost memories, and finding that primal footprint claiming, “we were here first”, Sasour resides her film in a cross-section between sci-fi, archeology, and politics.
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain Trailer
In the Future
The artist, born in East Jerusalem, for the occasion of her exhibition In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, running from 3rd March – 9th April 2016, at the Sabrina Amrani gallery in Madrid, as the main attraction, presents her latest film accompanied by three photographs and two installations.
Larissa Sansour’s work is interdisciplinary, occupied with the current political dialogue and utilizes video, sculpture, photography, installations, book form and The Internet. Seeing science fiction as a great medium for the exploration of identity, and using the fictitious nature of the genre to alter, neglect and negotiate with the obstacles of the present day, the artist sees the genre as adequate for describing the predicament of Palestine. Her on-going research into the functionality of the art, and her play with humor and irony as tools to shift the power balance re-introduce the repetitive, post-apocalyptic CGI spaces of the conflict. With her most universal film yet, Larissa Sansour tells a story of the universal and timeless drama: the stories of beliefs that govern our life and at the same time are reasons for our destruction.
All images courtesy of Sabrina Amrani gallery and the artist. Featured images in slider are all video stills from Larissa Sansour film In The Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain.