Your Ghosts Are Mine: Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices

★★★☆☆

Curated by Matthieu Orlean
On until 24 November 2024

If Venice awarded a Golden Lion for the slickest geopolitical curating, it would go this year to Qatar’s display of some forty video installations from the MENASA region. ‘Expanded cinema’ was a fad in the West maybe fifteen years past, but the kinds of budgets required to let every filmmaker claim multiple projectors only later became the norm for art in the Middle East. This colossal show more than makes up for any historical shortfall as it deploys video’s most lavish smoke and mirror techniques to frame human journeys across desert and sea.

On paper, there’s plenty to cherish here. Cherri, Neshat, or Shawky are all surely binge-worthy, and the rest of the hundred-hour programme should not be taken lightly. But this project’s ‘expansion’ leads instead to fragmentation. The multiplicity of narratives and the exhibition’s non-linearity wrap the mind around the cinematic apparatus instead of allowing it to follow the works on their own. This attempt at building pan-Arabic film aesthetics, therefore, falls prey to the art technician’s trickery and buries the expended film fad for good. 


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Christine Ay Tjoe, Lesser Numerator at White Cube ★★☆☆☆

Christine Ay Tjoe

Lesser Numerator

★★☆☆☆

Aj Tjoe’s paintings could make great scenic backdrops to a David Attenborough documentary on the life of wild rodents

Alexandre Canonico, Still at Ab Anbar ★★★☆☆

Alexandre Canonico

Still

★★★☆☆

Conanico’s slight structures look like they could take flight at any moment.

Lydia Gifford, Low Anchored Cloud at Alma Pearl ★★☆☆☆

Lydia Gifford

Low Anchored Cloud

★★☆☆☆

Oil paint applied so thickly that it’s a miracle the canvases don’t bring the gallery walls down with them

Mohammad Ghazali, Trilogy: Then… at Ab-Anbar ★★★★☆

Mohammad Ghazali

Trilogy: Then…

★★★★☆

Repetition and framing are photography’s greatest tricks.

Gina Fischli, Love Love Love at Soft Opening ★★★★☆

Gina Fischli

Love Love Love

★★★★☆

What good it is to be best in show when the competition is lame, crooked, or outright fake?

Stuart Middleton, The Human Model at Carlos/Ishikawa ★★☆☆☆

Stuart Middleton

The Human Model

★★☆☆☆

An interest in material is core to this practice but Middleton mistrusts his instincts.

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