What We Found After You Left / Naeem Mohaiemen
Sep 21, 2019 – May 10, 2020

Naeem Mohaiemen / Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 (still)

Naeem Mohaiemen grew up in Tripoli, Libya and Dhaka, Bangladesh and now works in Dhaka and New York. His work, which includes films, installations and books, excavates political ruptures through family stories and macro histories. His focus is the 1970s, when transnational utopian projects began to fall apart as the global surge of socialist revolutions ran into the reality of entrenched capitalism, and the promise of decolonization faced the disappointment of fatally flawed leadership.

 

Naeem Mohaiemen / Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 (still)

Naeem Mohaiemen / Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 (still)

Naeem Mohaiemen / Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 (still)

Naeem Mohaiemen / Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 (still)

Naeem Mohaiemen / Tripoli Cancelled, 2017 (still)

This exhibition presents four films in a rotating program from September 2019 to May 2020. Each film is accompanied by works (photographs, prints or sculptures) that serve as ‘footnotes.’ These works, in the corridor that leads to the screening room, precede the films, upending the standard rule of footnotes following the main text. The sequence underlines the artist’s manifesto for writing history: moving the margin to the centre.

 

Naeem Mohaiemen, Installation views / The Power Plant

The program begins with Tripoli Cancelled (2017), the surrealist fable of a man who has lived alone in Athens’s Ellinikon Airport for a decade. The ‘non-place’ of the airport is similarly central to Mohaiemen’s 2011 film United Red Army, which focuses on an airplane hijacking by the militant Japanese Red Army, in support of the Palestinian cause, at Dhaka airport. Next, Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017) probes the ‘pivot’ between the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Finally, Afsan’s Long Day (2014) draws from the diary of Bangladeshi historian Afsan Chowdhury.

While focusing on moments of mistake and misrecognition, Mohaiemen’s research into aspirations towards utopia during the Cold War era – manifested through decolonization, revolution, and independence – is rooted in a hope for a future, revived international left.

 

What We Found After You Left / Naeem Mohaiemen
September 21, 2019 – May 10, 2020 / The Power Plant
Curator: Lauren Barnes
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