In the beginning there was water. And this water generated all forms of life, which gradually learned to detach themselves from their source in various degrees of separation. But this water was also life in itself: it moved and swirled; it conceived and hosted other creatures; it expanded, contracted, and it knew different states of matter. What if such immense form of life could speak? What would it have to say? To whom would it speak to? What stories would it tell? And how much could our human ears understand it?
Departing from Basim Magdy’s exhibition at the Jeu de Paume, and the speculative exploration of the ocean it generated, this conversation will revolve around the topic of ocean life, focusing on the specific research developed by the artist for the show. It will discuss the artist’s research and production methodologies, analysing the specificities of his work processes and chosen media, and observing his past and current production, putting in relation previous films—some of which will be screened during this occasion—with this current research.
The conversation with Basim Magdy will be held by Heidi Ballet, Curator of the Satellite Programme, who is currently developing a large exhibition project largely focused on the topic of the oceans, and writer and editor Filipa Ramos, whose main field of research revolves around the topics of animal life and framing nature within contemporary art practices.
FILMS BY BASIM MAGDY
which will be presented during the Carte blanche
Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship (2012, 9 min. 31 sec.)
In Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship, time passes in its own shadow as reality and its representation merge. It lingers quietly in ancient ruins like a dancing ship on the horizon. Eventually, it consumes itself in its own darkness as tree branches swing back and forth.
Turtles All The Way Down (2009, 10 min. 09 sec.)
In Turtles All The Way Down, the film’s narrator refers to a constantly expanding universe that goes into territories beyond the capacity of human understanding: the unknown beyond the known, what we don’t know compared to what we do (or think we do). Posing the ultimate question of ‘what is the unknown?’ the narrator refers to the search for knowledge, the importance of discoveries in helping us to understand the world.
No Shooting Stars (2016, 14 min. 25 sec.)
Magdy’s new work is built around the personal narrative of someone whose identity is vested in the ocean, an entity that is willing to unveil the secrets of an underwater world. As the film progresses, images merge and dream-like scenes drift in dissonance with a narration.
In English. Admission free.