The Neighbor Before the House

For our 48th screening, Raphaël Grisey presents The Neighbor Before the House (al jaar qabla daar) from CAMP with guest Shaina Anand, co-founder of CAMP.

Raphaël explains his choice as follows: I first encountered the work of CAMP when watching From gulf to gulf to gulf, a film challenging questions of authorship, archive assemblage and new forms of image circulation. Reading their «10 theses on the archives», I found multiple reverberations with my ongoing research Sowing Somankidi Coura, a generative archive. My research aims to generate an archive around the making and analytics of the (agri)cultural cooperative Somankidi Coura (founded in Mali in the 1970’s by West-African former migrant workers in France) and to focus on the intersections of partial perspectives and technologies (filmmaking and permaculture). The constitution of an archive, as stated in the 10 theses on the archives, isn’t the end but rather the beginning of a debate around the forms and potential futures of contingent connections between multiple narratives.

The Neighbor Before the House (al jaar qabla daar) deals with the effects and narrative remainders of a (warfare) technology and proposes a method of witnessing, a witness machine. While the invisibility of technological devices is often at the core of gathering intelligence, data mining, and military violence, its visibility ­–here the coupling of CCTV cameras and voices– makes possible the enunciation of the violence of the expanding occupation of the (under)ground of East Jerusalem.

Alongside the film, we will also extend the discussion to the online archives and which offer multiple navigation tools and interfaces (timelines, script, subtitles, metadata) enabling the viewers to become active protagonists and designers of various modes of research.

Raphaël Grisey uses film and editorial works to assemble or produce narratives about the politics of memory, migration and architecture. The book Where is Rosa L. (2001-2006) and the film National Motives (2011) study the ghosts of various political regimes in the public spaces of Berlin and Budapest. Through diverse documentary, fictional or essayist forms, Grisey’s films and installations deal with contemporary social and political issues such as migration, racial capitalism and colonial legacy in France, West Africa and Brazil (Becoming Cooperative Archive 2008 – with Bouba Touré; Amor e Progresso, 2014; Remanescentes; A Mina dos Vagalumes 2015).

CAMP is a collaborative studio set up by Ashok Sukumaran and Shaina Anand in 2007. CAMP, has been producing provocative new work in video and film, electronic media, and public art forms sustaining long duration and sometimes large scale artistic work. Their films and projects over the past decade have shown how deep technical experimentation and artistic form can meet while extracting new qualities and experiences from contemporary life and materials. From their home base in Chuim village, Mumbai they host the online archives and, and the Mankhurd community space, R and R among other activities including their rooftop cinema. Their artworks have exhibited worldwide including at Skulptur Project Munster 2017, Documenta 13 and 14, MoMA and New Museum, and Tate Modern.

We thank CAMP for allowing us to show their film and Shaina Anand for joining us for this special evening.