No Shooting Stars, 2016
Basim Magdy's films are often surrealist portraits of situations that involve disappointment and an absurd twist of events. But in No Shooting Stars, Magdy turns his camera to the uncontrollable and unknowable character of the ocean. In the film, an unidentified inhabitant of the open seas speaks, while a dreamlike background slides by out of tune with the narration. The narrator – who might be a sea monster, a mermaid or an old sea turtle – has an enticing familiarity, but its identity slips away and the text starts meandering like a poem against a background where underwater imagery mixes with landlike things like fireworks and flames.
The title No Shooting Stars comes from a line in the film that says “Down here there are no shooting stars, down here there is another existence, that has no desire to make your wishes come true”. If this suggests a disenchantment, it might be more correct to state that No Shooting Stars takes a respectful stance towards the secrets of the sea that cannot be known or controlled. Adopting a perspective of awe, Magdy recognises there are limits to our knowledge and a certain type of logic dictated by the ocean and the unknown creatures it hides within. Rather than getting involved into a struggle, Magdy abandons his quest and pays homage to the vastness of the oceans, turning it into a meditation on its mysteries and secrets.
Basim Magdy has recently had solo exhibitions at the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (2017), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, United States (2016), the Jeu de Paume, Paris, France (2016) and Z33, Hasselt (2016). He participated in group exhibitions including WheredoIendandyoubegin, On Secularity, Göteborg Biennial, Göteborg, Sweden (2017), Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (2017) and The New Museum Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York, United States (2015). In 2016 he received the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year 2016 Prize and in 2015 he won the Experimental Award at the Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival in Portugal.
Entrance hall of De Grote Post, Hendrik Serruyslaan 18a, Oostende.
The video can be seen during the opening hours of the Cultuurcafe of De Grote Post (daily from 9.00 to 23.00).
- Tram stop: Oostende Marie-Joséplein
- Cycling node: 74
- Walking node: 65
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