A screening at Whitechapel Gallery, New York City on Saturday 6 September follows contested landscapes as they transform through urbanisation, pollutions and natural disaster, forming new cities, dreams and imaginaries. The screening is featuring work by Monira Al Qadiri, Ali Cherri, Köken Ergun and Basim Magdy.
Basim Magdy, My Father Looks For An Honest City, 2010, 5 min. 28 sec
Shot in an arid landscape of extremes on the outskirts of Cairo, My Father Looks For An Honest City is a film about cynicism and a persistent search for a seemingly essential unknown. In a reenactment of Diogenes of Sinope’s philosophical statement of carrying a lamp in daytime, Magdy filmed his own father while walking through a landscape of contrasts in transformation. Where human existence seems seldom, other players like petrified wood, doves, fake palm trees, stray dogs, abandoned glass buildings, a flashlight and the landscape itself evolve as alternative protagonists. Magdy creates a narrative without a beginning or end to highlight the statement’s futility and the emptiness of the search. When asked to explain his philosophical stunt, Diogenes simply replied that he was “looking for an honest man”.
Saturday 6 September, 3pm – 6pm at Zilkha Auditorium, Whitechapel Gallery, New York City