The ongoing series of exhibitions and interventions “Heimat” explores different meanings of this unresolved term in the face of accelerated processes of globalization, mobility and migration on one and increasing inward looking, stagnation and bordering on the other hand. On this evening, Neil Beloufa’s science fiction documentary “Kempinski” (2007) is shown alongside Halil Altindere’s “Homeland” (2016) and Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme’s “Only The Beloved Keeps Our Secrets” (2016) – both premiering in Austria on this occassion.
The films are installed in a continuous loop between 7–9 pm.
Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
Only The Beloved Keeps Our Secrets (2016)
Only the beloved keeps our secrets (2016) weaves together a fragmented script sampled from online recordings of everyday ritual and performance and their constant removal and is layered with diverse additional materials. The film is structured around footage taken from an Israeli military surveillance camera. On March 19, 2014, 14 year-old Yusuf Shawamreh crossed the ‘separation fence’ erected by the Israeli military near Hebron. He was going to pick Akub, an edible plant that grows at high altitudes and blooms for only a short period of time, and a delicacy in Palestinian cuisine. He was shot dead. After a court injunction the military surveillance footage was released and consequently circulated online.
Only the beloved keeps our secrets invites to consider the forms of entanglement between the destruction of bodies and the erasure of images, and the conditions under which these same bodies and images might once again reappear.
Blending realism and fiction, Halil Altindere’s new video Homeland (2016), shot in Turkey and Germany, spotlights the experience of forced migration. The contradictions that define refugee status are voiced by Mohammad Abu Hajar, a rapper from Syria who is now based in Berlin. His rhymes accompany the viewer through scenes partially based on real-life footage—from a border crossing to the hidden waterways of Istanbul—and concluding at the Tempelhof complex in Berlin, a former airport and now a new refugee camp. The work brings the migration crisis engulfing Turkey and the globe to Berlin, a political center where Europe’s response to the crisis is forged. The film was commissioned for the Berlin Biennale.
Shot in Mali, Neil Beloufa’s Kempinski (2007) is a science fiction documentary featuring interviews with local inhabitants as they imagine their visions of the future. The protagonists emerge from the dark into the scene in front of the camera. Against the lights of fluorescent lamps they recount imaginaries in present tense, resulting in a blend of projected hopes, concrete stories, and fantasies that are at once aspirational, contradictory, and confusing. On the one hand, the film cunningly scrutinizes the western-minded stereotypical view that any viable future is unachievable when it comes to Africa. On the other, by arresting the imagination in the current moment, the film concurrently puts the possibility of these dreams coming true into question.