Video of the session
About the Masterclass (initial text)
Basim Magdy creates complex narratives between fiction and reality, overlapping different layers of meaning and significance: social, environmental, political and economic. In conversation with curator Irene Campolmi, he will reflect on the potentiality of visual poetry obtained by juxtaposing diverse contexts into a fictional narrative. In the second part of the masterclass, the participants will be invited to take on the challenge of designing fictional stories using seemingly disparate keywords to invent them.
In the first part of the masterclass, Breaking Patterns, artist Basim Magdy in conversation with curator Irene Campolmi will reflect on the potentiality of visual poetry obtained by juxtaposing diverse contexts into a fictional narrative. The talk will take as its point of departure M.A.G.N.E.T, Magdy's last film, which was commissioned and realised for the artist's homonymous show which opened on September 2019 at MAAT Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon, which was co-curated by Irene Campolmi and Ines Grosso. The film later had its film festival World Premiere at International Film Festival, Rotterdam. Looking into the artist's research and approach in combining poetry, image and sound, the conversation will touch the core of Magdy's poetic work.
In the second part of the masterclass, the participants will be invited to take on the challenge of designing fictional stories using seemingly disparate keywords to invent them. We will explore and reflect on the concept of time, displacement and repetition, discussing those 'in-between' spaces that are created by fictional narratives. These narratives could be presented as text, poetry, series of images or any unusual medium or format the participant groups agree on.
To participate in the workshop, you are invited to watch Basim Magdy's film M.A.G.N. E. T. previously.
Poetry suggested by the guests: Agnes Denes, "A Feminist Art Manifesto"
About the Artworks
M. A. G. N. E. T. (2019)
M. A. G. N. E. T. is the longest film ever shot by Basim Magdy. The plot of the film hypothesizes that humanity wakes up in the face of the news that the planet's gravity is gradually and inexplicably increasing. The film was shot over almost two years in different locations in Europe, including a volcanic crater on the Greek island of Nisyros, a robotics laboratory in Bristol, the Côa Valley Archaeological Park, the Dino Park in Lourinhã, the Almendres Cromlech prehistoric standing stone site near Evora, Portugal and in Hong Kong among others. These places have been taken out of their historical and geographical contexts and presented as a purely fictional (and disruptive) background that serves the narrative. However, the identity of these places is blurred by the use of color filters as well as analog effects and cinematic techniques that aim to present and altered version of a familiar reality.
M . A . G . N . E . T. is a reflection ante-litteram on the current situation of emergency that projects us into a future and hypothetical scenario. It could be read as an oracular metaphor that warns us of an announced and impending catastrophe, or perhaps of the natural cycle of the earth's evolution.
Basim Magdy studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University, Egypt (BFA). Basim Magdy works with film, photography, painting and drawing, text, posters, installation and sculpture. His work reflects on notions of collective failure and hopefulness, the misreading of history and the dissemination of knowledge. He is particularly interested in the human constructs for rationalizing the unknown.
Selected solo shows include; Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon; La Kunsthalle Mulhouse; Mulhouse, France; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Arnolfini, Bristol; MAXXI, Rome; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux; Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin and South London Gallery, London. Selected group shows include MoMA, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Torino; New Museum Triennial, New York; Whitechapel, London; KW, Berlin; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; La Biennale de Montreal; MEDIA CITY Seoul Biennial; 13th Istanbul Biennial; Sharjah Biennial 11 and 13; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco and La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris among others. Film screenings include New York Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, Art of the Real, Curtas Vila do Conde and Tate Modern among others.
Irene Campolmi is an independent curator and researcher based in Copenhagen working and living in transit. Her current research investigates postcolonial ecologies and performance that investigates postcolonial, queer and feminist theories. In the past, her curatorial research and practice have focused on tracing the narratives supporting the 21st-century displays of those art museums who demonstrated an interest in researching the legacy of untold modern art histories and their influence in contemporary artistic research trends.
She recently opened a solo show of Dawit Petros at TPP, Toronto and is working on upcoming shows exploring sound and visualization. In 2019, she curated the Performance Program An Endless Present for Enter Art Fair, Copenhagen; a show by Basim Magdy at MAAT, Lisbon; a retrospective of Jesper Just exhibited both at MAAT, Lisbon and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and a solo show by Wu Tsang at CC. She co-curated the Estonian Pavilion Birth V. Hi, & Bye by Kris Lemsalu at the 58th Venice Biennial and edited a book on Jesper Just's live performances published by Mousse. In 2018, she curated Talks, Film and Performance Program of Code Art Fair in Copenhagen and the collective show #whatif for Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen with Forensic Architecture, Renzo Martens and Naeem Mohaiemen.
Before joining the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen as a PhD Fellow to work on a thesis about the ethics supporting research and curation in modern and contemporary art museums, she was a research fellow in the Max Planck Institute research group "Objects int he Contact Zone: The Cross-Cultural Life of Things".
The series of workshops/masterclasses Breaking Patterns is organized and moderated by Bernard Vienat director of art-werk and is supported by Pro Helvetia in the frame of their Program Close Distance and Oertli Stiftung.