Excursions in the Dark, 2011, HD video, 20 min., video still, © the artist
Excursions in the Dark, 2011, HD video, 20 min., video still, © the artist
Excursions in the Dark, 2011, HD video, 20 min., video still, © the artist
Excursions in the Dark, 2011, HD video, 20 min., video still, © the artist
Excursions in the Dark, 2011, HD video, 20 min., video still, © the artist

Kaya BehkalamExcursions in the dark

 

Cairo, February 2011. Dictator Hosni Mubarak has been deposed and calm has returned to the streets. But the dark alleyways and city squares seem strangely empty. The nightly curfew has turned the place of revolutionary action into a space outside of chronological time, a stage waiting to be filled, in a ‘standby’ status, after the curtain fell and before it rises again. What is it waiting to be filled with? Fragments of conversations with women and men recalling their dreams speak of unconscious fears and formless images, contrasted by a motionless camera looking at the city as a manifestation of the desires and projections of previous epochs. Excursions in the Dark traces – in the words of philosopher Walter Benjamin – the ‘moment that the historian takes upon himself the task of dream interpretation’, the vanishing point connecting the city’s architecture, collective dreamscapes and political agency.

Kaya Behkalam