An evening of short films exploring a longing for ancestral land(s), language(s) and imagining future possibilities of interaction or convergence. The program borrows its title from the 1969 novel of poetry by Mohammed Kheir Eddine-Soleil Arachnide, or “Scorpionic Sun”. Kheir’s work has been described as “a solar intensity radiating from somewhere deep inside, gathering from everywhere inside to radiate through a gaze that concentrated the black sun out of the interior”. In borrowing this idea of radiating an interior solar intensity, each film articulates unique dualities- within the body, family, and personal and colonial archives. The program includes work by Valentin Noujaim, Christelle Oyiri, Tandis Shoushtary, and Kengné Téguia. Curator Mounir-Aicha Soussan in person!
Patchwork Site by Kengné Téguia:“Inspired by the lyrics of Syl Johnson, specially this one “Is it because I’m Black”, I’m creating an experiment sound where the word “Black” is coming as a muted word surrounded by some incantations & complaints. While I’m reminiscing my background as an artist with the same sequence of images, which seems to come differently bit by bit thanks to the soundtrack. Trying to figure out my position, in a sense thanks to another senses.”
Created from images of the recording of a performance, Oreigins, DoneBeing puts my body and voice into abyss through a set of interposed screens. In touch with my bionicity, I address my alter-egos by claiming my solitude, in the form of complaints.
Mother’s Tongue by Tandis Shoushtary is a rotoscope animation consisting of over 800 hand painted frames, a meticulous attempt to reclaim, remember and editorialize the only connection to my Iranian passport. One does not have to understand the context or words that are spoken in the familial moments depicted—these are universal experiences. However, to a Farsi-speaking audience it discloses a second meaning: the vignettes reveal instances of misunderstanding and miscommunication, emphasizing an obvious cultural barrier between the children depicted and the space they exist in.
Collective Amnesia: In Memory of Logobi by Christelle Oyiri is a visual poem, a composite video that celebrates but above all reveals the secret of logobi. A dance born in the suburbs of Abidjan, which found its most lively echo and took its final form in the French suburbs. A subconscious phenomenon, DIY that takes tools for the public and digital space for playground. In Collective Amnesia, we immerse ourselves in the quest for remembrance and intimacy.
Before she forgets Heliopolis by Valentin Noujaim: On asking my grand-mother Malo, to recount the first part of her life in Cairo, I am confronted by the memories of an exiled woman, lost in a troubled sea of memories, soon to be erased by the passage of time.
Valentin Noujaim was born in France in 1991, to Egyptian and Lebanese parents. After studying Political Science, Noujaïm worked as an assistant director and co-writer for the documentary ‘THF Central Airport ‘ by Karim Aïnouz. In 2015, he directed an 8mm short film which was selected by several experimental film festivals (Boddinale, Berlin Short Film Festival). In 2016, Noujaïm entered La Fémis in the script department.
Tandis Shoushtary is a German-born BFA student at the Cooper Union, who learned the culture and language of her (Iranian) familial roots in the context of migration. Her work investigates the shaping of identity and its hybrid forms resulting from relocation.
Kengné Téguia is an artist based in Paris. Initially self-taught, he joined the School of Fine Arts in Nantes in 2014 and, later on, the Paris-Cergy National Graduate School of Art in 2017. He also has a degree in computer science. Performer and videographer/video maker, his practice (influenced by queer aesthetics, experimental cinema and pop music) reinvests the figure and condition of the cyborg. In his work, he exploits in this double space his body and his deafness, playing and foiling the expectations of the public.
Mounir-Aicha Soussan is a filmmaker, curator and researcher based between Los Angeles and Morocco. They are currently completing their undergraduate degree in Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts. Their films explore pre colonial mythologies and postcolonial futurisms and the preservation of queer memory in Morocco; weaving fantasy and reality.