Alia Farid introduces Paris Without a Sea (2007–2008) is the second part of The Sea is a Stereo (2007–2010) by Mounira Al Solh:
‘I like how this work reminds us that we are in everything we see. By synchronising her interviewees—a group of men who swim daily on the beaches of Beirut—with her own voice, Monira Al Solh very simply and effectively reveals issues of gender while provoking laughter and reflection.’
About the work:
Paris Without a Sea (2007–2008), the second part of The Sea is a Stereo (2007–2010), a series about a group of men who swim every day on the beaches of Beirut, undeterred by rain, wind or war. In this work Mounira Al Solh interviews the men and asks seemingly basic questions that touch upon critical sociological and anthropological issues. At times such surprising questions and responses, combined with a frenetic pacing, causes the video to slide into the absurd.
In a conventional interview an interviewer and an interviewee face each other, but this video work subverts this dynamic. The artist learned each man’s accent and then synchronised their answers, to embody and become both characters: the interviewer and the interviewee. The work surprises the viewer by portraying the men with soft and feminine voices. This leads us to wonder, ‘How does a voice represent a person?’
The film was screened at Rijksakademie, Ashkal Alwan, 11th Istanbul Biennial and Sharjah Art Foundation. It was produced by Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2008), with special thanks to Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.
Screening and Booking Information
The Sea is a Stereo: video nº 2, Paris Without a Sea
Director: Mounira Al Solh
Experimental | 13 minutes 8 seconds
Arabic with English subtitles
This screening is part of the Genealogies in the Middle East and Latin America project, which explores historical and contemporary relationships between artists from these two regions. It unfolds along narratives revealed by the artists' personal accounts that provide critical alternative perspectives and insights by decentralising dominant narratives, schools and paradigms produced and affirmed in the West.
To learn more, please click here.