Ways of Seeing: Cross-overs in Art and Cinema session, 2014

Left to right: Panelist Joana Hadjithomas, Moderator Omar Kholeif
Ways of Seeing: Cross-overs in Art and Cinema session, 2014


Sharjah Art Foundation marked the ongoing Moving Images partnership by inviting artist and filmmaker Joana Hadjithomas to join curator Omar Kholief in a conversation about of the artist’s work in Ways of Seeing: Cross-Overs in Art and Cinema. Organised as part of the Dubai International Film Festival’s Film Market Forum, the session was an illustrated case study of the work of Joana Hadjitomas and Khalil Joreige, that explored the possibilities of working between art and cinema.

Kholeif started the session by inquiring about the art practices that Hadjithomas and Joreige have explored and the challenges they have faced with limited production budgets when financing their projects. Hadjithomas explained that, they had to find alternative techniques to create their work which ranges from documentaries, films, photographic and video installations.

Lebanese Rocket Society, the artists’ project for Sharjah Biennial 10, included a full-sized rocket sculpture installed in the Sharjah Arts Area. Hadjithomas explained, ‘We decided to build a rocket and send it to Sharjah. It was a reactivation of the past into the present through building the rocket that we reconstituted and painted.’ The original Lebanese Rocket Society was formed in 1960 by a group of students who aimed to promote science and research for the purpose of studying space. The students worked together to create a rocket to explore space rather than use it for military needs. The artists main message through their work is to ‘reactivate the past in the present’.

The session ended with questions about what influenced their ideas for their projects. Hadjithomas explained that they feel inspired by issues and events happening around them and that they try to examine these in their work.

Moving Images is a partnership between Dubai International Film Festival, Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Dubai, launched in 2013 to explore the shared territory between artists’ films and filmmakers’ art.