Gordian Knot (short films selected by Narimane Mari)

MOMA
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019


Wed, Sep 27, 2023, 4:00 p.m.
MoMA, Floor T2/T1, Theater 2
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2


Sat, Sep 23, 2023, 1:30 p.m.
Introduced by Narimane Mari
MoMA, Floor T2/T1, Theater 2
The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2


Link to the event

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These seven short films by Ismaïl Bahri, Khaled Abdulwahed, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, transform real-world events into enigmatic compositions. Through formal gestures, dispatches from the streets of Tunis or Bangkok, or the memory of a long-lost home in Syria, are revealed in a minor key. Evoking the Greek myth of the Gordian Knot, Mari’s selection offers an alternative to grand gestures—like Alexander the Great’s slash of the sword that split the intricate rope tie in one fell swoop. “It cannot be otherwise, that this knot exists,” writes Mari, “and these filmmakers plunge us in the beauty of its intractability. Each work attends to torn threads to preserve the memories contained in each fiber, strengthening the knot as a result.” In reflecting on upheavals past or present, this program—like Mari’s work—shows that a whisper can be mightier than a shout.

  • Esquisse. 2017. Tunisia. Directed by Youssef Chebbi, Ismaïl Bahri. Silent. 5 min.
  • Tuj. 2012. Syria. Directed by Khaled Abdulwahed. No dialogue. 2 min.
  • Revers [excerpt]. 2017. France. Directed by Ismaïl Bahri. No dialogue. 5 min.
  • Backyard. 2018. Germany. Directed by Khaled Abdulwahed. No dialogue. 26 min.
  • Night Colonies. 2021. Thailand. Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. In Thai; English subtitles. 14 min.
  • Orientations. 2010. France/Tunisia. Directed by Ismaïl Bahri. In Arabic; English subtitles. 20 min.
  • Denouement. 2011. France. Directed by Ismaïl Bahri. Silent. 8 min.