Rania Stephan

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Staff Picks Threshold
Rania Stephan

11 Minutes

Staff Picks

November 1–30, 2022

Entirely taken from an old Egyptian science fiction film called The Master of Time directed by Kamal el Sheikh in 1987, about an illuminated scientist wanting to extend human life, Threshold is built on the intuition that if the original film were emptied of all its fictional elements, retaining only the transition shots featuring doors, gates, and boundary crossings, it would reveal its quintessence: its obsession with eternity. Despite the plot being evacuated from the film, enough of the fiction seeps in for the viewer to grasp the narrative threads. The viewer joins the main character Mr. Kamel in becoming stuck in both space and time, thus fulfilling the scientist’s prophecy.

Presented on e-flux Video & Film alongside Memories for a Private Eye (2015), as the November 2022 edition of Staff Picks featuring Rania Stephan.

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

Video Art, Science Fiction, Time, Immortality, Montage
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Rania Stephan (b. Beirut) is an artist and filmmaker working with still and moving images. She has directed art videos and creative documentaries. Her documentaries give a personal and poetic perspective to political events. Archival material has been an underlying enquiry in her artistic work. Her most recent work investigates forgotten images and sounds that haunt the present. By juxtaposing them with new ones, she explores a diversity of meanings, triggering renewed narratives and emotions. Approaching images like an editor—part detective, part cinephile—she traces absence and remembrance originary to those images. Described as a contemporary classic, her first feature film, The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni (2011), was internationally acclaimed and won numerous prizes: Artist’s Prize: Sharjah Biennale 10; Renaud Victor Prize, FID Marseille International Cinema Festival; Best Filmmaker Award, Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Her second feature, In Fields of Words (2022), recently won Best Film Award at the Villa Medicis International Film Festival. She was recently appointed Associate Artist at the EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris France. Her artwork is represented by Marfa’ Gallery (Beirut).


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