Up until recently I have been in the background of the work, as the director and producer.
I wanted the viewers to complete the work, physically and visually. I have now shifted my
approach. I appear in the work, but not as myself, but rather as a characters from favorite
movies. Francois Truffaut and Tsai Ming-Liang have been special influences for they follow
the same characters over several films, thus over time, creating a mutating identity. Antoine
Doinel and Hsiao-Kang both struggled with growing up in and fitting in their respective societies.
I identify with these characters.
For this new project, la distinction entre un carthaginois et un hexadecagone, au subjonctif
(the distinction between a carthaginian and an hexadecagon, in the subjonctive)
I recreated a sequence from the film les quatres cent coups (400 blows), by Truffaut, as an installation.
I reshot a scene in which Antoine, the main character, played by me, goes on a ride in a Gravitron
(a fair ride that spins really fast). The sequence is projected inside a smaller scale, fully working, Gravitron.
The sequence is perfectly timed with the starts and stops of the machine. I, like the characters in the movies
I associate with, am stuck in time and place. The film is an icon in the French film culture, it symbolizes
a time and a place, an identity. Playing the role of the iconic Doinel (Jean Pierre Leaud), I jump into
this character the moment when he tries to escape his self, his reality, when he wants to be entertained
and taken far away. I want to be this icon, this Frenchness, while also being who I am, a mix breed, neither
one nor the other. Arab, but French, but American, but becoming German?