Eric Baudelaire and Naeem Mohaiemen share common interests in the concept of statelessness, the history of political utopia and its repercussions, as well as summoning images from past events, transcending the border of documentary footage and affective memory. Through different paths, each artist has come to focus on the impact of the Japanese revolutionary left during the 1970s. “Yabuno-naka nihon sekigun”, the two-person exhibition by these two artists, references the film Rashōmon, and comprises two bodies of work that narrate and analyse this history at the convergence of distant political temporalities between Beirut, Tokyo and Dhaka—drawing upon multiple perspectives and testimonies without a unified truth. As an opening event we invited two artists and three guests including a filmmaker Masao Adachi for a three and half hours talk and fruitful discussion among speakers as well as the audience from different generation followed.
Eric Baudelaire (b.1973) is an artist and filmmaker based in Paris, France. After training as a political scientist, Baudelaire established himself as a visual artist with a research-based practice incorporating photography, printmaking and video. Since 2010, filmmaking has become central to his work. His feature films Un Film Dramatique (2019), Also Known As Jihadi (2017), Letters to Max (2014), The Ugly One (2013) and The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (2011) have circulated widely in film festivals (including Locarno, Toronto, New York, FID Marseille and Rotterdam).
Naeem Mohaiemen (b.1969) works in Dhaka and New York. He combines essays, films, drawings, and installations to research socialist utopias, incomplete decolonizations, language wars, and shifting borders. Starting from the nexus of Bangladesh history after the two ruptures of 1947 (partition of British India) and 1971 (separation of Bangladesh from Pakistan), his films ripple outward to take in manpower export that became conscripts to the PLO, an airport as staging ground for many mutinies, missed encounters of two generations of European left, and a graduate student searching for the revolutionary spirit in Asia. The work has taken on the state-sanctioned urge to enforce “correct history”, the problem of decolonial moments that replicate old oppressions in new forms, the obscuring of class as a mode of thinking through the idea of forward, and the hegemonic position of English language.
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