Basim Magdy’s practice began with painting and has gradually evolved through experimentation with various mediums. With little to no knowledge of each new medium introduced, the process has provided opportunities for self-exploration. He has been focusing lately on photography and film because of an initial interest in their tangible, tactile and versatile capacities. Generally reversing the order of conventional film production, he begins by filming the footage, then writes the script and creates the score, an open process that inspires reflection through narrative and sonic construction.
In No Shooting Stars (2016), the artist pairs a script featuring fictive commentary with footage of an oceanic world that occupies the margins of consciousness and has been left out of history books. With neither a beginning nor an end, the film drifts from one dreamlike scene to another, with only a tangential association with its organic narrative structure. Parts of the physical film have been pickled in chemicals that alter and saturate colours, muddling the quality of the image and estranging us from a familiar sense of the body of water and the life it sustains. Over time, the ocean seems to emerge as the film’s wry protagonist without revealing its depths.
This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 13.
No Shooting Stars
16 mm film and GIF animations transferred to HD video, 14 minutes 27 seconds
Film still, Sharjah Biennial 13, 2017
Co-commissioned by Jeu de Paume, Paris; Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Paris and CAPC musee d’art contemporain de Bordeaux
Courtesy of Gypsum Gallery, Cairo and the artist
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation