Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige
Born in 1969 in Beyrouth (Lebanon)
It is strange and paradoxical to introduce ourselves in a few words in this context when we haven't studied art or film. We got into this practice by teaching ourselves, from necessity, following the Lebanese civil wars and a chaotic post-war period with regional conflicts still not resolved. It was more the consequence of situations and encounters which encouraged us to react, to produce, to look for images which concern us, positions which address us, which move us and which come from today's history, our present.
At first we were interested in representing what exists without being necessarily visible. We look to reveal, to see for ourselves, to render the complexity and the subtlety of situations which tend to be schematised and simplified.
It is not simply a question of talking about the Lebanon but rather to question the divides in the world today.
What stories should be written when the thread of History is broken? How should one give representation back its force when faced with the incessant flow of images?
For this, our artistic work and our films put together different strategies such as rarefaction, the subtraction of an image, a reflection about latency, the state of what exists in a non apparent manner but which can appear at any time, of evocation, as well as the fabrication of new icons, a research on narration, documents, the spectator's participation...
This way of changing the point of view, of questioning it, of displacing it is fundamental to us in an attempt to make art and film politically.
Our videos, photographic installations and our films produced from personal or political documents, family archives build narratives, tell of stories kept secret which are a form of resistance facing the official story, history written "by the winners". By being both artists and film-makers means we can also explore different ideas and forms, and develop them in films, such as A Perfect Day or Je veux voir and in installations that we make at the same time, carried by the same obsession and the same personal and formal necessity.
The artistic space is for us a space of contradiction but also a space of sharing, of coming together. In what we do, we try to keep space for the other, to think together, so that a new emotion is established, the sharing of sensations. We look for, hope for this participation and this encounter. What is important, is that things are not frozen but are continually in a state of research, of testing, in the search for a common questioning of "moments of truth" in an artistic territory which does not necessarily function with the same territories as geography or topography, but as "an extra continent" as Godard used to say when talking of the cinema. That is where we live.