And yet my mask is powerful (2016)

Origin: Unknown | Fiction | Director: Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme | 0 minutes

And yet my mask is powerful

Basel Abbas - Ruanne Abou-Rahme

multi-media project

Single screen and 5-channel video projection, 2-channel sound + subwoofer,
tools, bricks, boards (2016)

5-channel video projection, 2-channel sound + subwoofer, tools, bricks,
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then
black I am blacking out and yet
my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power

Neolithic masks taken from the West Bank and surrounding areas, and stored
in private collections are hacked and 3D-printed. Copies circulate in
Palestine, eerily akin to a black ski mask. A group of youth wear them at
the site of a destroyed Palestinian village in Israel. Becoming other,
becoming anonymous, in this accidental moment of ritual and myth.
Initiating a series of trips to possess and almost be possessed by these
strangely living sites of erasure and wreckage. Only now, returning to the
site of destruction as the very site from which to cast a new projection
that palpably evokes the potential of an unrealised time, not bound by the
here and now or there and then. A parallel time that is not occupied, a
virtual time that is not 'our' time.

And yet my mask is powerful confronts the apocalyptic imaginary and
violence that dominates our contemporary moment, an apocalyptic vision that
seems to clog up even the pores in our bodies. Taking Adrienne Rich's poem
'Diving into the wreck' as the beginnings of a script, And yet my mask is
powerful asks what happens to people/ place/ things/ materials when a
living fabric is destroyed. The project uses the trips taken by young
Palestinians to sites of destroyed villages as an avatar to think about the
possibility of using the site of wreckage as the very material from which
to trace the faint contours of another possible time. Materials are taken
from the sites, plants, flowers, stones, bits of human residue. Other
objects and things, particularly tools, are cast into the work and
projected back into the sites.
In its intersections between performativity and ritual, body and artifact,
thingness and virtuality And yet my mask is powerful begins to splice
together a counter-mythology to the dominant mythologies of the present. A
counter-mythology that holds on to our imaginative space as the last
terrain to be occupied. The layers of images, texts, sound and things
perform and activate various forms of returns, flashforwards and deja vu
unfolding in this gesture a dense story of erasures and reappearances,
dispossession and resistance, the archaic resonating in the contemporary.

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