Images of War, War of Images
With François Bucher and Alaa Mansour
Location: Het Huis Main Stage
Screening followed by a conversation with François Bucher and Alaa Mansour, moderated by Reem Shadid
9/11 marks an irreversible turning point in international politics. The attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September 2001 were answered by the United States and its allies with a global “war on terror”. As well as becoming manifest in the wars launched against Afghanistan and Iraq, the war on terror sanctioned military campaigns against “Islamic terrorist groups”. Meanwhile new systems of civilian security measures and ubiquitous surveillance were established, and technologies such as facial recognition have been undergoing perpetual improvement ever since. This film programme reflects the post-9/11 geographies of power and control, which are deeply connected to racial stereotypes and algorithmic biases in visual technology. François Bucher made White Balance (to think is to forget differences) in 2002, in the shadow of 9/11 and its aftermath. The film links these events to an ongoing investigation of how cameras adjust to “whiteness”. The Mad Man’s Laughter (2021) by Alaa Mansour explores the spaces of violence in simulations produced by the military-entertainment complex. Both artistic video essays employ a variety of references, internet footage and computer generated imagery to investigate the power of images in an asymmetrical world.
White Balance (to think is to forget differences)
United States 2002, 32 minutes
The Mad Man’s Laughter
Lebanon/Austria 2021, 42 minutes
What else is on Friday?
See the Friday timetable to visit the other programmes with your Festival Pass (5-days) or Day Pass (1-day). With the passes you can also visit the festival exhibition The Curse of Smooth Operations at the IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture] and Steenweg 26.
François Bucher― Artist
François Bucher (Colombia) is an artist and writer from Cali, Colombia. His research spans a wide range of interests, focusing – as of late – on multi-dimensional fields and other tropes from shamanism and science fiction, such as time “travel”. He contends that trauma acts as a portal through time, both at a collective and an individual level. Bucher’s work has been exhibited worldwide, including at the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennial, Marrakech Biennale, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Bienal de Cartagena, Bienal de Cuenca, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Centre d'Art Contemporain Geneve, Berlin Documentary Film Forum, Jeu de Paume, Prague Biennial, Tate Britain, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. His writings have been published in the Journal of Visual Culture, Documenta Magazine, E-Flux Journal, and Valdez. He holds a Master’s degree in film from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A book on his work from 1999 to 2016, written by Claudia Salamanca and titled The Catastrophe of the Present, was published in 2016. His studio is in Mexico.
Alaa Mansour― Artist
Alaa Mansour is an artist, filmmaker and archivist based between Marseille and Beirut. Her work examines the histories of violence and the power of images in the age of necropolitics. Her debut documentary film Aïnata (2018), shot in the south of Lebanon, is a seminal work embodying her interest in archives. It has been screened internationally. She is currently head of visual research for Bidayat, an intellectual and cultural quarterly magazine published in Beirut, and is also involved in other publications.