Conceived, directed and presented by Rabih Mroué
Production Berlin Documentary Forum – HKW/ Berlin, dOCUMENTA 13 Kassel, Spalding Gray Award 2010 (Performing Space 122, New York), The Andy Warhol Museum Pittsburg, On the Boards Seattle, Walker art Center Minneapolis
Surtitles by Laura Bevione for theFestival delle Colline Torinesi
In collaboration with ERT Emilia Romagna Teatro as part of VIE Festival
Syria, 2011. On the street, under the eyes of the whole world, men who film their own death fall. Pictures of a revolution. Revolution of the image.
Armed with cameras or mobile phones, thousands of peaceful protesters opposed to the suffocating regime of Bashar Al-Assad, burst onto the streets. In the chaos and turmoil of clashes with the authorities, they shoot on the fly, recording the event they are creating. With a quick click, breathtaking, startling images appeared on the Internet and then went viral, revealing to the entire world the maelstrom of political and digital resistance. The situation then deteriorated, resulting in a massive increase in the number and virulence of violent attacks, and the images became unbearable. Caught in the sights of snipers, men were shot down, filming their own deaths up to the very last second.
“Syrians are filming their own death”, that is how The Pixelated Revolution begins, aiming to study the various tips and directions on mobile phone documentation, as shared via the medium of Facebook and other virtual communication tools during the first year’s events of the Syrian revolution.
It begins from the point of how Syrians are recording their images “now and here” and reflects on the relationship of this act of photographic documentation with death, and how we perceive these video “now but there”.
Mroué plays out the role of selector, interpreter and commentator as he appropriates material into a narrative of his own device. Trying to make sense of the abundance of visual information and the narrative it forges, Mroué produces a grid from these images to systematically analyse the patterns of repetition. A captivating lecture-performance that plunges into the heart of the violent upheavals of news stories being written and recorded as they happen. A captivating lecture-performance that plunges into the heart of the violent upheavals of news stories being written and recorded as they happen.
Born in Beirut n 1967, Rabih Mroué has developed a versatile artistic practice where he assumes, often simultaneously, the duties of actor, director and playwright. Since 1990 he has developed, solo or in tandem with his artistic colleague Lina Majdalanie, striking performance pieces that blur the boundaries between disciplines in a poetic fusion of theatre, installations, performance art and video.
They present works that are a direct reflection of the social and political realities of their country, as they dig into the questions and contradictions underlying Lebanese society. In an unexpected intermingling of documentary and fiction, notably with unclassifiable lecture-performance pieces such as Make Me Stop Smoking (2006) or The Inhabitants of Images (2008), they turn reality into narrative. An iconoclastic artist whose pieces constantly question the limits of representation, Rabih Mroué places humanity at the heart of his work. Intertwining the private and the political, his troubling and disturbing pieces have been acclaimed at major European festival.
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