Screening: What happened to produce these ruins? Curated by Muriel N. Kahwagi

Screening: What happened to produce these ruins? Curated by Muriel N. Kahwagi

Thursday, June 6th, 2024, at 6:30 pm

Vtape, Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space

4th floor, 401 Richmond St. W. suite 452

This summer, Vtape is excited to present two programs from our Curatorial Incubatees. This year’s Curatorial Incubator v.19: Island in the Streams called for projects that explore collections, how they are accessed online as never-ending digital repositories, and how we can interrupt the stream to create new moments for refuge. Emerging curators do independent research using the rich resources available through Vtape, write a curatorial essay for their program of selected titles, and, finally, present their curated program to the public.

What happened to produce these ruins? curated by Muriel N. Kahwagi considers moving-image works’ ability to leave a material trace of places, becoming accidental archives that document disappearing landscapes. Looking at the cities of Beirut, Cairo, and Windsor-Detroit, she’s interested in the ways in which video works may (or may not) function as archives for the future – and in the role of artists as (unwitting) keepers of history.

What happened to produce these ruins?

Curated by Muriel N. Kahwagi


Playing Ball, Corinna Schnitt, 2013, 10:00

Set in Detroit, Corinna Schnitt’s Playing Ball (2013) depicts a man and a woman playing a game of pick-up basketball inside what looks like a factory. As it draws to a close, the film reveals a former grand theatre now pressed into service as a lowly parking lot, where civilization itself seems to be dissolving before our eyes.

Saving Face, Jalal Toufic, 2003, 07:19

Jalal Toufic’s Saving Face (2003) depicts posters of the 2000 parliamentary campaign in Lebanon being scraped off the walls one by one. In the process, parts of the faces from other older posters appear underneath, revealing distorted figures.

Night Visitor: The Night of Counting the Years, Maha Maamoun, 2011, 08:30

Maha Maamoun’s Night Visitor: The Night of Counting the Years (2011) is a snapshot of a population in a moment of upheaval. Away from the crowded masses and fervent protests of Tahrir Square that populated the media, Maamoun’s video captures multiple first-person experiences of walking and sifting through state archives.

What to do? Part 1 of a Triptych, Christopher McNamara, 1992, 05:00

Christopher McNamara’s What to do? Part 1 of a Triptych (1992) is a travel brochure of sorts, an invitation to travel beyond the literal meanings of the narrative and the visuals. Set in Windsor, Ontario, this video depicts the desolate structures and dwellings that occupy the city.

Most Fabulous Place, Maha Maamoun, 2008, 01:12

In Maha Maamoun’s Most Fabulous Place (2008), postcards of Egypt’s prime historical and touristic monument, the Pyramids of Giza, are flipped through to a soundtrack composed from dialogues occurring by the pyramids, sampled from a variety of Egyptian films.

All of Your Stars Are but Dust on My Shoes, Haig Aivazian, 2021, 17:35

Haig Aivazian’s All of Your Stars Are but Dust on My Shoes (2021) reflects on the public administration of light and darkness as a surveillance tool. Creating an associative genealogy that moves from whale oil lamps to gas lanterns to LED bulbs, from blackouts to curfews, the film generates a sensorial meditation on how the fundamentals of human vision — light hitting the retina — were mechanized into tools that capture our movements, be it in everyday life or on screen.