A video exhibition which opens on August 30th in São Paulo will feature work by three Lebanese artists, Akram Zaatari, Walid Raad, and Rabih Mroué, as well as Morocco’s Bouchra Khalili.
The full title of the exhibition is “Unerasable Memories – A Historical Take on the Videobrasil Collection,” referring to the Videobrasil project, which claims archives containing over 3,000 titles, including publications, documents and videos gathered during the last 30 years.
In Rabih Mroué’s Face A, Face (2002), included in the project, the artist interweaves memories with old audio recordings, made by him and his parents to be sent as audio letters to his brother while he studied abroad, exploring the packaging of ideologies and political slogans into family narratives.
In Face A, Face B, accounts recorded on cassette recount the daily lives of the artist and his family during the conflict. The tapes, whose purpose was to convey the news to Mroué’s brother who was studying in the Soviet Union, begin by showing the subtle interferences of war: the change of address, the accent acquired in the new place of residence – the South of the country. In 1978, Israeli troops occupied the region looking to eliminate the Palestine Liberation Organization’s bases in the country. The film progresses on to the laughter of the mother, who grows accustomed to the war, and the account of a shelling that supposedly hit the artist’s house in 1989 – according to him, his name was on the wounded list. On attempting to remember the past, Mroué fruitlessly seeks photographs to match the recorded voices, or voices to match the images shown. The narrator, who claims to be the sole survivor at the time when Face A, Face B was made, was ultimately able to combine his voice with his image – video as a medium, life as a possibility.
The exhibition runs from August 31st to November 30th, 2014.