Imagined Borders, Gwangju Biennial, co-curated by Christine Y. Kim and Rita Gonzalez, September 2018
What Do You Mean, Here We Are?, restrospective of the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo, The Mosaic Rooms, London, UK, July 2108
DON'T BE TOO CANDID
Don't Be Too Candid weaves historic correlations between the Arab uprisings and other global social movements through a wide range of iconic and archetypal images, videos, poetry, articles and more data. The multimedia installation focuses on the present post revolution context and the shift of power (represented by the lion), from the state to the protester, and back to the state.
Don't Be Too Candid. Site Specific multimedia installation. LED tickers, murals—paintings by Eric Busch, video installations, web based open source Vox Populi database/timeline. Installation views. #WhatIf, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark. Photos by Karim Hanna and Lara Baladi © Lara Baladi, 2018.
ABOUT DON'T BE TOO CANDID
I Revolutiones Mave, Weekendavisen Kultur, by Pernille Albrechtsen, March 2018
#WhatIf, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen — Intervista a Irene Campolmi, by Giulia Morrucchio, May 2018
Kunst er Ikke SoMe, Informationen, by Ida Marie Hede, March 2018
Dokumentariske Utopier For an Grumset Verden, by Kristian Handberg, March 2018
Lidt Kunsth - Meget Politik, Berlinske, by Torben Weirup, March 2018
BE REALISTIC, ASK FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE
Displaying a timeline of events traversing from BC until today, Be Realistic, Ask for the Impossible is anchored in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath. The multimedia installation weaves historic correlations between this uprising and other global social movements through a wide range of iconic and archetypal data including images, texts, poetry, and more.
Be Realistic, Ask for the Impossible. Multimedia installation. LED ticker, murals —drawings by Selma El Balouty—, videos installations including the Vox Populi open source web based database/ timeline. Affect Me. Social Media In Art. KAI10 | Arthena Foundation, Dusseldorf, Germany. © Alexandra Höner and Lara Baladi 2017.
Ana Masri, (Arabic, I Am Egyptian), 7 minutes single channel video, part of the multimedia installation, Be realistic, Ask for the Impossible, KAI10| Arthena Foundation, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2017. © Lara Baladi.
Translation of voice over from the above video, Ana Masri. Excerpt. The Last Words of Spartacus, 1962 poem by Egyptian writer, Amal Dunqul.
[...] Glory to Satan, god of the winds
Who said no to the face of those who said "yes"
who taught Man to tear apart nothingness
He who said no, thus did not die
And remained a soul eternally in pain [...]
[...] Which you can mould into a cup for your strong wine
And if you do as I wish
Should they ever ask you
about my martyred blood
whether you granted me life just to snatch it away from me?
tell them he was not resentful towards me when he died
and this cup
made from the bones of his skull
is my absolution
I have pardoned you
The moment after you were relieved of me
I was relieved of you!
About BE REALISTIC, ASK FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE
[...] The show focuses on the latest viral turns of the "iconic turn," including works by nine artists. With photos, videos, sculptures and installations, but also with simple billboards, the exhibition examines the massive use of the "meme" phenomenon, i.e., the changing setting and expression on the internet—without entering into cultural pessimism. After all, the affect-laden picture is also indisputably an evidence, which is the thrill for the philosopher Slavoj Žižek in Lara Baladis three-channel video "Alone, Together... In Media Res.”
The collage combines recordings of the Egyptian uprising in winter 2011 with snippets from feature films, music clips, political speeches. In the disturbing compilation Žižek speaks about the TV pictures from Tahrir Square. Again and again, he raises his arm and hammers it down to emphasize his words: a "real and honest universal event" can be seen here, not some "boring Unesco universalism" from books with titles like "World Cultures." The images of freedom and solidarity are immediately understandable, he says, which is why one can identify directly with them.
That's how it is. This is precisely why in some terrible scenes one no longer even asks who is actually exerting violence in whose name, pulling bodies, dragging them across the street. Lara Baladi, not only develops her project of a "Vox Populi" in videos, she also gives the stream of images an archival form in fresco-like murals. As iconic as many pictures of contemporary events may be, we do not know their authors and have no further interest in them [...]
Excerpt and translation. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, exhibition review by Georg Imdahl, 2018.
Affective Societies, Affected Scientists!, 5 Questions to Lara Baladi, June 2018
Facing the Sniper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, online article on the exhibition Affect Me, KAI 10, Arthena Foundation, Dusseldorf, Germany, by Georg Imdahl, 2018
Affective Societies Blog, 2017
WDR 5 Aktuelle Kultur (1/2), German Radio, 2017
WDR 5 Scala Aktuelle Kultur (2/2), German Radio, 2017
Site specific artwork. Transforming a former prison cell into a camera obscura. Fort Revere, Hull, MA. Photos by Lara Baladi & Andre Aboulian © Lara Baladi, 2016.
DON'T TOUCH ME TOMATOES & CHACHACHA
Don’t Touch Me Tomatoes & Chachacha is an immersive, surround sound, video installation and a direct response to the ill-concealed misogyny which has been surfacing around the world, and which was in Egypt in particular, between 2011 and 2013, amplified by the use of sexual abuse as a counter-revolutionary tool.
Still from the video and 7.1 surround sound installation. 940 X 300 CM. 180 degrees projection. Production Image Urubu Films. Artwork commissioned by Dior. © Lara Baladi 2013.
Viewer experiencing the video and 7.1 surround sound installation. 940 X 300 CM. 180 degrees projection, 2013. © Lara Baladi. Production Image Urubu Films. Artwork commissioned by Dior.
Made with YouTube videos I collected over a period of two years during the 2011 Egyptian revolution and its aftermath, the work is a tribute to the creative and transformative part, women play in history, a role too often denied, in the Middle East and in the world at large.
This enchanting audio-visual experience, titled after one of Josephine Baker’s songs, Don’t Touch Me Tomatoes & Chachacha, is a ‘carousel’ of fireflies in which iconic women –anarchists, activists, artists such as Louise Michelle, Isadora Duncan, Alice Guy, and many more, are fireflies and, if only for a moment, illuminate the world.
Excerpt from the video and 7.1 surround sound installation. 940 X 300 CM. 180 degrees projection. Production Image Urubu Films. Artwork commissioned by Dior. © Lara Baladi, 2013.
ALONE TOGETHER,... IN MEDIA RES
Alone, Together,..., In Media Res, (Latin, ‘in the midst of things’). 42-minute three-channel video installation by Lara Baladi. Installation view, Cairo Open City, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany. © Lara Baladi, 2012.
Alone, Together… In Media Res (Latin ‘in the midst of things’), is a three channel video installation, a ‘visual commentary’, which attempts to find and define, within historical processes, the innate quality that impels human beings to pursue freedom.
In January 2011, just as the YouTube video “Tiananmen-Cairo Courage in Cairo” went viral, a friend posted on Facebook a speech Jean Paul Sartre had delivered to an audience of striking French autoworkers 40 years earlier. As the political tension grew, more images and videos of a packed Tahrir Square were uploaded to the Internet. They echoed footage from other uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as the sights and sounds of a vast array of past social movements. It was as though Sartre was protesting with us in Tahrir.
I started an on-going archival project called “Vox Populi.” I gathered videos, articles and photographs related to the events unfolding on the ground while also collecting material on major events taking place around the world since #Jan25. I researched and amassed footage that resonated with Tahrir Square and everything that followed, from historical footage to philosophical speeches, to banned cartoons, and more.
Alone, Together… In Media Res is the first artwork derived from this archive – a narrative that weaves video excerpts together to reflect on many of the questions raised during the Arab uprisings. These revolutions signal the beginning of the unraveling of a major historical period, in the middle of which I, like Alice in Wonderland, fell into a hole: YouTube.
39-minute three-channel video installation. © Lara Baladi 2012. Research: Lara Baladi. Archive -videos, articles, photos: Lara Baladi and Amina Diab. Max/Msp/Jitter Programming: Michael Carter. Egypt, 2012.
Still from the 39-minute three-channel video installation. Cairo Open City, Installation view, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany. © Lara Baladi 2012.
About ALONE, TOGETHER
These Cameras Stay On, Anastasia Patsey, Arctic Moving Image & Film festival