Lasting Images

  • About
    Lasting Images, 2003
    Video installation, 3 min
    Super 8 mm film
  • On August 19 1985, Khalil Joreige’s uncle, Alfred Junior Kettaneh, was kidnapped during the Lebanese Civil War. He is still officially reported missing today like 17,000 others.

    In March 2001, the artists stumbled across the archives, photographs, and films that once belonged to Khalil’s uncle. Among his things, they found one “latent film”, a super-8 that remained undeveloped. It had been stored in a yellow bag for fifteen years, surviving the ravages of the war and a fire that devastated the house where it was later found.

    The artists considered for a long time whether or not to send the film to be developed; whether to take the risk that these latent images might reveal nothing. After much hesitation, they finally decided to send the undeveloped roll to the lab.

    The film came out veiled, white, with a barely noticeable presence that soon vanished from the screen. The artists searched within the layers of the film itself, attempting to create the reappearance of a presence, of images. After much work on colour correction, an image appears that surges up, again, through the whiteness, as if it could not be completely shaded out, a lasting image that refuses to disappear:

    A shadow, a hand, a boat, the port of Beirut, the roof of a house; a group of three persons, soon joined by a fourth… A lasting image evoking the impossible mourning of wars of which memories are denied.

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