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catastrophe



Catastrophe Video, Duration: 5’, no sound. © Marion Inglessi 2015.
Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Inspire/Effective Spaces
Created by: Marion Inglessi
Cinematography: Spyros Zervos
Post-production: George Giagias

Participated in: Rencontres internationales Paris/Berlin/BoCA Lisbonne 2017

The video explores the theme of unseen and unforeseen catastrophe.
It reflects the recent events in the Mediterranean: the endless flow of refugees, the randomness of their survival rate, and the loss of the value of human life.
The word catastrophe in Greek and Arabic bears the same weight: the catastrophe of Asia Minor, the Exodus from Palestine.
When catastrophe strikes, the visual equivalent of extreme shock is to drop whatever one holds in one’s hands.
The 'unbreakable' Duralex glasses, (Latin: dura+ lex = hard+ law) were created in France in the late 50’s and have today become a classic.
A symbol of strength and durability, they spread around the whole world, to the Middle East, India, and the U.S.A.
They have been photographed in the hands of Afghan tribesmen, Daniel Craig as James Bond, and even Osama bin Laden.
We shot them in slow motion as they fall to the ground, bounce, alternate and merge with Arabic tea-glasses.
The intermittent rounds of Arabic, Greek and Latin characters spelling the wοrd catastrophe, καταστροφή, and nakba, soundlessly ‘shoot’ at the falling glasses in a slow- and ultimately shared - dance of death.

FIREFLIES IN THE NIGHT TAKE WING, Video Art Survey
Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, Athens, June 23-26, 2016

Curators:
Barbara London, Kalliopi Minioudaki, Francesca Pietropaolo, with Robert Storr, Artistic Director.

In Catastrophe, Marion Inglessi explores the theme of disaster by choreographing a dramatically silent dance of death. Duralex water cups and Arabic tea glasses are filmed falling in slow motion, hitting the ground, bouncing, turning upside down, shattering into pieces, spilling their content or tragically lying empty.
Letters hit the falling glassware with the rhythmic intensity of gunshots, spelling the word catastrophe in Greek (καταστροφή), English, and Arabic(nakba).

Catastrophe, as the artist puts it,“is the fatal turning point or resolution in Ancient Greek drama. The word catastrophe in Greek and Arabic bears the same weight: the catastrophe of Asia Minor, the Exodus from Palestine.” Whether seen as a synecdochic evocation of the body language of subjects in shock—traumatized individuals who let everything drop from their hands at the sight o fdisaster—or as a metaphoric visualization of violently broken bodies and spilled insides and souls, Catastrophe eloquently captures both the cry of victim and the speechlessness of the observer of timeless atrocities, that include but are not limited to natural disasters, war and violent death. The coupling of West and East that underpins Inglessi’s choice of languages, as well as the fragility of the Arabic glasses that contrasts the durability of the Western ones (Duralex is a famously unbreakable French product that since the late1950s has spread around the world, and has been photographed in the hands of famous pop culture heroes and real life terrorists), layers her poetic lament of all lives lost to recent imperialist, anti-terrorist and fundamentalist violence, with a critical perspective that further resonates with the current refugee crisis.