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Close Encounters of the Fictive Kind

AllArtNowLab October 1 - October 17 Curated by C-print

Faiham Ebna Sharif, from Fantasy Is More Filmic Than Fictional Bangladesh Film Industry (2014-)

For us as curators, Close Encounters of the Fictive Kind is an exhibition which marks a throwback to school years and an early (escapist) love for cinema that preceded a passion for contemporary art. On another note, already when setting sail to C-print as an art platform there was an interest to make room for contemporary art from Bangladesh which is our parents’ origin of birth. Consequently, the exhibition which can be passed as a homage to cinema saw its starting point in the Bangladeshi film industry; something most people, including us, have had very little exposure to. The exhibition however suggests cinema as a universal phenomenon whose tropes, clichés, genre conventions and plot devices make for a shared and commonly understood “language”.

Faiham Ebna Sharif’s long-term and extensive ongoing body of work Fantasy Is More Filmic Than Fictional Bangladesh Film Industry blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality with images in the exhibition that while appearing like still frames from films are essentially documentary, deriving from the many film sets he’s had the access to visit and monitor over the years. The presentation takes single and singular images out of their context into the semblance of an interconnected whole: a narrative that is easily and instantly recognizable.

Kira Carpelan’s video The Woman Without Qualities presents as a pastisch of Western film canon starring Alexandra Dahlström. It’s informed by a research project about the portrayal of women in cinema for which a great number of films were examined. It consists of 14 “stock” scenes from film history. In the video a dramatic curve has been “faked” pretending to show plot movement and character development. But since the woman on view is by herself not much happens. Agnieszka Abramowicz too explores gender roles with her collage-based Cutting Roles which departs from society’s failure to shift dated gender roles and codes, suggesting that they have been reproduced and cemented so deeply through cinema to such extent that cutting through them is an intricate web of deceit.

Queenning Zhao’s light installation Eclipse is a reminder of how natural phenomena, weather conditions and light have throughout the history of cinema been part of its “language” and a tool to convey tension, mood and shifts in a narrative. Kasra Seyed Alikhani’s meta oriented spatial installation relates directly to a feature-length film project that he is in the process of developing with dual identities as both filmmaker and artist. The installation presents a scenography from a road movie to be made which will see a fictive Swedish rest stop as its scene. The rest stop is a genre-bending set and plot device that is both a generic and desolate site. Because intentions are never to stay, anything can end up happening, making it particularly of interest in its capacity of stressing the imagination about its significance.

Ashik & Koshik Zaman

Artwork on images: Faiham Ebna Sharif Art direction and design: Johan Terzis


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