177 days of Latent Images

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    354 books, 177 metal shelves, video HD
  • The installation is a display of 354 books displayed on 177 shelves that can be arranged according to the space (various dimensions depending on the height of the place). The 177 books opened during the performances in Venice are present next to other books activated also during the Biennale, in another venue, at the Arsenale. A mediator invite spectators to open a second book and to activate it at there own rhythm. The audience can continue the process of revealing these latent images even outside the time frame of the performance. People are free to spent time with. Both books are put back on a shelf of every day (but flipped as to see the cutting edge) and under each shelf the date of the performance is written with a pencil directly on the wall. They are surrounded by the books that are all present in the space of the collective exhibition, on one side the books not yet opened or read, on the other the books already read, thus forming a progressive cycle, a strong and significant presence in space. It is like a time line of the biennale. Little by little, the book will all be read, the texts is floating in the exhibition space. A video of the cutting of one book (a close up on the book being cut with the voices of the actors recorded) is also presented aside with the installation on a flat screen.   The artist book A selection of latent images is presented in a limited edition of art books, published by Rosascape: Latent images, Diary of a photographer. The book consists of 1312 pages and includes 38 contact sheets selected among the hundreds of films shot by Abdallah Farah between 1997 and 2006, which he never developed. Each film can be read and seen in the form of a chapter: an original photo of these rolls appears at the beginning of the chapter, recalling the presentation of photos in family albums. The description of the images replaces the photographs, short fragments of text describe invisible images while creating a new imaginary space through sealed notebooks, which prevent the images they contain being read unless the pages are cut. The performance Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige imagined later a reading-perfromance based on the book. They invite 4 actors to activate the book Latent images, Diary of a photographer. One person is entrusted with cutting and separating the pages, while synchronizing with the three other actors who will be reading the images. The reading of the book is somehow a new form for the latent images and transfer this work into the field of oral expression. The actors will work in shifts to present, in multiple voices, the whole collections of texts of the book Latent Images.Ai?? In doing so, they will echo the multiple narratives relating the point of view of Abdallah Farah, his relation to argentic photography, his mixed feelings of enthusiasm and disenchantment, and his lost loveai??i?? but also the transformations in the city, the important political changes of those years as well as a deep relation to visible and invisible traces, memories and history. During the venice biennale, every day, in the arena in the Giardini, a book was opened and read from beginning to end by 4 actors. 177 books, equivalent to the number of working days of the Biennale, had thus been revealed, read and shared with the audience. 177 days and so 177 books. The performance lasts about two hours (there may be two per day, which means opening and reading two books every day). A camera registers the opening of the book by the actors and retransmits it on a screen. In front of this screen, three actors on a stage take turns reading the entire book as the pages appear on the screen behind them.
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