Tripoli Cancelled, 2017

Naeem Mohaiemen
Tripoli Cancelled, 2017
Digital video, colour, sound, 88 minutes
Commissioned by documenta 14
Co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Jameel
Courtesy of Experimenter, Kolkata and the artist

Overview

8 April–16 July 2017
documenta 14, Athens


At documenta 14, Naeem Mohaiemen premieres two interrelated moving image works co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation. In addition to his three-channel video installation Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017) in Kassel, the artist presents his first fiction film Tripoli Cancelled (2017). Exploring the relationship between imagination and the regeneration of hope, the work follows the protagonist’s daily routine, which consists of writing letters, staging scenes and reading from a weathered copy of Watership Down.

An abandoned airport has served as the man’s home for the past decade, rendering him both prisoner and king. The blurring of these roles is further examined through a study of our epoch, characterised by rigid borders, and is merged with an exploration of Hannah Arendt's ‘spectral humans’ and Primo Levi's recollection (analysed by Giorgio Agamben) of ‘Der Muselmänner’ (literally translated as ‘the Muslims’), a colloquial term used by Jewish prisoners in Auschwitz for other prisoners who had given up hope on life. Athens’ Ellinikon airport, designed by Eero Saarinen in 1969 and closed in 2001, serves as both an historical and contemporary backdrop for the film. After sixteen years of abandonment, last year the airport was allocated to luxury real estate development as part of European debt renegotiations.

Commissioned by documenta 14. Co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Jameel.

Trailer

Tripoli Cancelled

Naeem Mohaiemen
2017

Digital video, colour, sound, 88 minutes
Commissioned by documenta 14
Co-commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Jameel
Courtesy of Experimenter, Kolkata and the artist

Related

Tripoli Cancelled

Mohaiemen, Naeem

Naeem Mohaiemen is a writer and artist, he uses photography, film and essays to investigate rupture histories, including that of the global left and failed utopias.