III. Speculative Futures and Fabricated Memories: Maha Maamoun, Larissa Sansour, and Neïl Beloufa

III. Speculative Futures and Fabricated Memories: Maha Maamoun, Larissa Sansour, and Neïl Beloufa

Maha Maamoun, 2026 (still), 2010.

This Was Tomorrow

III. Speculative Futures and Fabricated Memories: Maha Maamoun, Larissa Sansour, and Neïl Beloufa

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July 23, 2024, 8:30pm
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172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at the e-flux Screening Room rooftop for Speculative Futures and Fabricated Memories, the third of the four-part series This Was Tomorrow, presenting cinematic visions of the future that illuminate and comment on our present-day realities.

The films and videos in this series challenge common perceptions of time, identity, technology, and community, in a curated selection that invites thoughtful reflection while also promising entertainment. Each evening will present a thematic pairing of an artist film(s) with a cinema feature, showcasing the diverse and innovative possibilities of science-fiction storytelling.

Screenings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 16–25, 2024, and begin after sunset.

III. Speculative Futures and Fabricated Memories
Tuesday, July 23, 8:30pm

The films in this screening explore how speculative narratives manipulate and empower the understanding of the past and future. They investigate futures where memory and historical narratives are reconstructed to serve different purposes.

Maha Maamoun, 2026 (2010, 8 minutes)
An iconic scene from Chris Marker’s film La Jetée (1962) of a man traveling back in time in post-apocalyptic Paris is re-enacted here in a deserted building in contemporary Egypt. The reading of an excerpt from The Revolution of 2053: The Beginning (2007), an Arabic-language science-fiction novel by Egyptian author Mahmoud Osman, has been dubbed over the photographic sequence. Maha Maamoun created this video a year before the revolution of 2011 that toppled then-resident Hosni Mubarak. The afterlife of 2026 in the Egyptian political context lends an additional resonance to a work already meditating on the nature of memory, teleology, and cause and effect relations. Viewed today, the video appears to foretell real-world events, while returning us to the present time of its production on the eve of a revolution by narrating a scene set on the threshold of a fictional revolution.

Larissa Sansour, In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain (2015, 29 minutes)
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain blends live action and CGI to tell the story of a Palestinian resistance group planting fictional archaeological evidence to influence historical narratives. The film explores themes of identity, heritage, and the power of storytelling. Sansour uses a speculative premise to comment on the political manipulation of history and the construction of cultural memory.

Neïl Beloufa, Kempinski (2007, 14 minutes)
Kempinski is a science-fiction documentary set in a village in Mali, where the inhabitants are invited to describe their visions of the future as if they were living them in the present. Beloufa’s film blurs the lines between reality and fantasy, capturing surreal and speculative narratives that challenge our perceptions of time and identity. This work fits seamlessly with the theme of reconstructed memories and speculative futures, offering a unique perspective on how present identities shape imagined worlds.

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

Experimental Film, Video Art, Science Fiction, Futurism, Palestine, Futures
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This Was Tomorrow

Maha Maamoun (b. 1972, Oakland) works primarily with text, photography, and video. She is interested in examining the form, function, and currency of common cultural, visual, and literary images. She also works on publishing and curatorial projects. Maamoun’s work has been presented by many institutions worldwide including Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; MoMA, New York; ICP, New York; New Museum, New York; MuHKA, Antwerp; MATHAF – Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Beirut Art Center, Beirut; Makan, Amman; Steirischer Herbst, Graz; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; and Haus der Kunst, Munich; and in biennials and festivals including the 6th Dak’art Biennial, Dakar; Bamaco 03, Mali; 9th Gwangju Biennale; Sharjah Biennial 10; Transmediale 2014, Berlin; and 64th Berlinale, Berlin. In addition to her art practice, she has curated and partook in the curating of arts projects in the Middle East and Europe. She is one of the founding members of the Contemporary Image Collective (CiC), established in Cairo in 2004, and also co-founded the independent publishing platform Kayfa-ta in 2013 with Ala Younis. She was awarded the Jury Prize for her film Domestic Tourism II at Sharjah Biennial 9 (2009). She lives and works in Cairo.

Larissa Sansour (b. East Jerusalem) studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London, and New York. She represented Denmark at the 58th Venice Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitworth Gallery in Manchester, KINDL in Berlin, Copenhagen Contemporary in Denmark and Dar El-Nimer in Beirut. She lives and works in London.

Neïl Beloufa is French-Algerian artist based in Paris. His video works, sculptures, and installations move within dichotomies such as reality and fiction, cause and effect, and presence and absence. His works examine contemporary systems of belief and established structures of power, while dwelling on the authority that is afforded by artists in today’s society. He has participated in group exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2022); 58th Venice Biennale (2019 and 2013); Tsinghua University Art Museum, Beijing (2018); Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (2015); Lyon Biennale (2013); and Cleveland Museum of Art (2013) among others; and has had solo exhibitions at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2021), Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2018), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018 and 2012), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016) among others.

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