Shirin Abu Shaqra

Conversations with changes - Film - 2010

présenté dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 12


In a conversation, a friend told me about "song lines", this animist belief that enable Australian aborigines to find their bearings across great stretches of land, "desire lines" which mean that we navigate a city according to our emotions, and also"psychogeography", a movement of urban planners who wanted to design cities according to human psychology and not according to its buildings and neighbourhoods. ‘'All cities are geological. You can’t take three steps without encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. (…) Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives allow us to glimpse the original conceptions of the space, but this vision remains fragmentary. It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and Surrealist writings. I am incapable of drawing but I see. Take an old house where a modern building has been built nearby. Between them, one notices that nature has gained the upper hand on a stone wall which, in its turn, has a bit of wrought iron shaped like in the 19th century sticking out. The first thought which comes to mind is the stratification of time. But if one imagines that this passage has been the place of a discussion leading to a contract which changed the life of such and such a community, then the ambiance tells a story. If these stories are put side by side, they would already draw a first "song line". This is what I wanted to represent, these bits of life not in the history books, smaller than the oral history, far from the news items, and beyond the history of the losers, the one that is never written. I see, I imagine...

Shirin Abu Shaqra


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing