I Thought of Home
©E’ville – Nelson Makengo
Yto Barrada, Bisan Abu Eisheh, Darol Olu Kae and Nelson Makengo
November 27th – 7pm
November 27th – December 25th
Tree Identification for Beginners (35′, 2018) – Yto Barrada – November 27th – December 4th
Love Speech (6′, 2014-2020) – Bisan Abu Eisheh – December 4th – December 11th
I ran from it and was still in it (11′, 2020) – Darol Olu Kae – December 11th – December 18th
E’ville (12′, 2018) – Nelson Makengo – December 17th – December 25th
History is intimidating. It precedes us. It is massive beyond our grasp. History is the opposite of home. Written by the victors, it holds no dwelling for the rest of us. But can home – real or imagined, present or past, available or denied – provide a window onto history? Might history actually be better observed, more powerfully told from/by its margins? “I Thought of Home” posits the charged intimacy of family archives as a compelling entry point into historical consciousness, as well as a place of protection from it. Against the cold violence of history, can such intimacy help us “redeem the words of our beginning”¹? Can the materiality of exchanged letters, the grainy footage of home videos, the inflections of a voice loved or lost offer us a more capacious sense of belonging? In these very private modes of communication, can a more intimate truth of history be reco(r)ded? The four artists included in this video cycle, each in their idiosyncratic way, have taken it upon themselves to approximate this truth. By combining fragments recovered from remains of trauma and memories of struggle, they carve a form for it to emerge in poignant and humorous ways.
¹ June Jordan: “Moving Towards Home” (1982)
Omar Berrada is a writer and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech. His work focuses on the politics of translation and intergenerational transmission. He has curated exhibitions in Rabat, Marrakech, Rotterdam, Berlin, Dubai, and New York. Omar is the author of Clonal Hum, a book of poems on “invasive species” (2020), and the editor or co-editor of several books, including Album – Cinémathèque de Tanger, a multilingual volume about film in Tangier and Tangier on film (2012), The Africans, a book on migration and racial politics in Morocco (2016), and Ahmed Bouanani’s posthumous history of Moroccan cinema, La Septième Porte (2020). His writing was published in numerous exhibition catalogs, magazines and anthologies, including Frieze, Bidoun, Asymptote, and The University of California Book of North African Literature. Currently living in New York, he teaches at The Cooper Union where he co-organizes the IDS Lecture Series.