Leakier Gardens

Leakier Gardens

Gabi Dao, Coco Means Ghost (still), 2019.

Leakier Gardens
Co-presented with Images

Admission starts at $5

October 21, 2023, 5pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, October 21 at 5pm for a screening of films by Gabi Dao, Yuula Benivolski, Erin Johnson, Zaina Bseiso, and Nadia Shihab guest-curated by and co-presented with Images. The screening will be followed by a discussion moderated by Images’ programming director Jaclyn Quaresma.

The artists in this screening consider multiple forms of nourishment, sustenance, and cultural transference across bodies, territories, and generational lines. Alongside these works, the garden extends beyond the plot to include those porous spaces in our lives that require tending to the growth of (one) another, allow entanglements to flourish, and where fruit, flower, and seed demand attention and care—not from a master gardener—but through each cultural leakage, slippage, spill, and spoil.


Gabi Dao, Coco Means Ghost (2019, 25 minutes)
Gabi Dao’s video-poem layers archival fragments, individual and family recollections, and lingering questions linked to Vietnam, unfolding narratives about intergenerational memory—both its legible recordings and its deeply visceral textures. How we remember, less so what, becomes a gateway into somatic residues, which spill from the gaps of official archives and constructed histories.

Yuula Benivolski, Eclipse in the Garden (2021, 6 minutes)
Yuula Benivolski’s mother always wanted a garden, and now she has one. Eclipse in the Garden is a poem about the relationship between a name and a place. Tatars and other non-Russian communities in the USSR were forced to go through Russification—the spread of Russian language, culture, and people into non-Russian cultures and regions. Forcing the many minority groups within the USSR to accept the Russian culture was an attempt to prevent self-determination and separatism. As a result, many people including the filmmaker’s mother weren’t able to use their mother tongue, eventually forgetting it. 

Erin Johnson, Oranges (2023, 3 minutes)
A group of artists engage in collective queer, desirous, and improvisational exchanges while eating tomatoes in a field. The video reflects on feminist theorist Silvia Federici’s call to “reconnect what capitalism has divided: our relation with nature, with others, and our bodies.”

Zaina Bseiso, When Light is Displaced (2023, 6 minutes)
Interested in its parallels with the fate of the Jaffa oranges, the filmmaker speaks to her father about her intention to film the last orange grove in Los Angeles. Their disagreement transforms the grove into a space of contemplation on the politics of storytelling in the multi-generational experience of Palestine in exile.

Nadia Shihab, Sister Mother Lover Child (2022, 18 minutes)
In her 18-minute, present–day slice–of–life film, Nadia centers the home as a place of assembly where a family of women seem to be both in a state of preparation and maintenance in the aftermath of an unnamed event. 

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.   
–For elevator access, please RSVP to program@e-flux.com. The building has a freight elevator that leads into the e-flux office space. The entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.            
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Experimental Film, Video Art, Memory, Everyday Life, Community, Human - Nonhuman Relations

Erin Johnson (b. 1985, US) is a visual artist based in New York who Filmmaker Magazine named one of 2022’s “25 New Faces of Film.” Her short films and immersive installations interlace documentary, experimental, and narrative filmmaking devices to interrogate notions of collectivity, dissent, and queer identity. Johnson received an MFA and Certificate in New Media from UC Berkeley in 2013 and attended Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2019.

Gabi Dao (she/they) is an artist and organizer currently based between the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nations (colonially known as Vancouver, Canada) and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. They are interested in sensory entanglements and affirmations—the ways they can insist on counter-memory, multiple truths, other ways of knowing, and blurred temporalities, against the capitalist linearity of cause-and-effect. Often these manifest through long gestating, fragmentary periods of research, eventually becoming sculpture, installation, collage, moving image, sound, miscellaneous forms of writing and community events. She has screened, exhibited, and participated in projects across Turtle Island, Europe and Asia and was shortlisted for the 2021 Sobey Art Award.

Nadia Shihab is a filmmaker whose work explores the personal, the relational, and the diasporic. Her feature film Jaddoland won five festival jury awards, and her work has screened at Cinema du Réel, DOXA, BlackStar, Camden, Kassel Dokfest, and Cairo International Film Festival.

Yuula Benivolski (b. 1980, Moscow) is an artist in Toronto who works in photography, film/video, and installation. She uses autofiction and personal narratives as a way to encourage a closer understanding of collective memories and their historical contexts. Her work has been shown in Canada and internationally. Her project Platform, currently in production, presents borderlessness as a point of departure to investigate Israeli settler-colonial policies in Palestine where she grew up.

Zaina Bseiso is a filmmaker and curator working primarily in documentary and experimental cinema. Her interests revolve around diasporic relations to land, hope, and potentialities. She explores Return as a notion that conflates and contracts sounds, images, and ways of existing in the world. Her practice mainly traverses among Palestine, Egypt, Cuba, Mexico, and the US. Her work has screened at Curtas Vila do Conde, Guanajuato, RIDM, DokLeipzig and Ajyal Film Festival, among others. She is co-founder of Bahía Colectiva, a community of filmmakers that collaborate in practice and curation. Zaina was also part of the programming team at the Points North Institute/Camden International Film Festival and a 2022 Sundance Humanities Sustainability fellow. She received her Master’s degree in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts.

Jaclyn Quaresma is a curator whose work considers the tension between the survival of the environment as we know it and our survival in the mediated environments we create for ourselves, both culturally and ecologically. Central to her curatorial praxis is an interest in non-dominant, anti-oppressive, multigenerational structures of gathering, learning, and sharing. Currently the Programming Director at Images, Jaclyn has held the position of Executive Director and Curator at Durham Art Gallery where she initiated the Rural Reading Riot Press and the accompanying Festival. She was Curator in Residence at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College (2019-2021). She is a graduate of the Masters of Visual Studies: Curatorial Program at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto.

Images is a festival and platform for the exhibition and discourse of independent film and media art. Created in 1987 as an alternative to the only other Toronto film festival at the time, Images has spent the last 36 years presenting media works that are challenging in their form and content. The Festival showcases the intersection of emerging and established practices and invites open critical dialogue in the film and media arts community around the political histories of moving image production, distribution, exhibition, and representation.

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