Janus Tussle - a film programme with Omar Adnan Chowdhury, Bani Khoshnoudi & Nashashibi / Skaer
Utterly unreliable documentary about a trade swap gone wrong.
Omar Adnan Chowdhury, Janus Tussle (BE première)
24 min., 16:9, colour, stereo
in English and Bengali with English subtitles
Elusive and unreliable, the film Janus Tussle follows the aftermath of a failed antiques trade between Bangladesh and Paris in 2008. Two shadowy sources recount protests by angry activists, priceless works stolen and dumped by treasure-hunting baggage crusaders, the resignation of the culture minister and the unfortunate death of a young diplomat. The fictional documentary unravels and complicates concepts of exchange, trust and shifting power relations. What remains is the mystery around a multipolar situation, still cursed by an unjust, traumatic past.
Commissioned by the British Council and Arts Council England
Omar Adnan Chowdhury (1984) is a Bengali-Australian artist and filmmaker, trained in Industrial Relations and Information Systems, who lives and works in Dhaka and Brussels. He makes para-fictional installations, films and performances that animate the alienating ambiguities and fault lines of diasporic life.
Bani Khoshnoudi, Cem (Togetherness), 2013
4 min., Super 8, Iran-France
Filmed on Super-8 during a demonstration of Kurds in Paris, Cem joins the idea of a collective body. The "cem" or "jam" in Persian and Kurdish means being together, united; the term also refers to Sufi gatherings, always manifested through dance.
Music: 'Weather' by Andy Moor, from his solo album MARKER (copyright Unsounds – 2007)
Filmmaker and visual artist Bani Khoshnoudi was born in Tehran and immigrated to the United States in 1979 during the revolution. She studied architecture, photography and cinema at the University of Texas at Austin and was studio artist at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York. Her works, inhabited by displacement and uprooting, explore themes of exile, modernity and its effects, memory and the invisible. Her films and work have been shown at festivals, museums and art centers around the world. In 2022, she was awarded the Herb Alpert Award for the Arts in Film/Video.
Nashashibi / Skaer, Flash In The Metropolitan, 2006
3 mins 25 secs, 16mm film
Shot in 2006 in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the film tracks through the Near Eastern, African and Oceanic collections, offering fleeting glimpses of statues, bowls and historical artefacts . These ancient objects are granted only a split second in the limelight, lit up by a flashing strobe, but the metronomic regularity of those flashes reverses the transitory nature of these brief glimpses, hinting in three short minutes at the vast, almost unimaginable stretches of time that separate the old objects.
Courtesy of the artists, doggerfisher, Edinburgh
Commissioned by Spike Island
Supported by the Elephant Trust
Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer are artists with international solo careers, but they also collaborate as Nashashibi/Skaer. Nashashibi/Skaer met in Glasgow and began working together in 2005. Their films have shown internationally to critical acclaim at venues such as the Berlin Biennial 5, Tate Britain, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the ICA London and they are represented in public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Pompidou, FRAC Marseille, and Arts Council Collection, UK. Recent works have taken exisiting artworks as their starting point, and Nashashibi/Skaer’s latest film, ‘Why Are You Angry?’ utilises Gauguin’s vision of the south seas. The film premiered at Documenta 14 (2017), and will form part of a retrospective exhibition for Tate St Ives 2018.