A film by Saeed Taji Farouky

Artist statement
October 5, 2010

Lev Kuleshov, the father of Russian cinema, wanted to define a new art form unrelated to traditional Russian theatre. Editing, he said, was the essence of cinema, the exclusive domain of the filmmaker. He conducted an experiment in which he intercut three identical shots of the actor Ivan Mozzhukhin's face with three entirely different and unrelated scenes. When the audience watched the six clips in sequence, they marvelled at the actor's moving yet subtle depiction of love, hunger and grief. But it was an illusion. The emotions were theirs, not his. It is called The Kuleshov Effect.

Kuleshov, can we not also define a Palestinian cinema and photography unrelated to Palestinian music and poetry? Unencumbered by Palestinian history and politics? Can we not simply create fragments and construct an assembly of those fragments? An interpretation through immediacy and proximity, rather than context? Or will someone still say "everything is political in Palestine"?

We see a boy. We read a name. We view a landscape. We see a man. We see two children. A valley. A kite. A bicycle. A wall. The emotions are yours, not theirs. Not mine.

text copyright Saeed Taji Farouky
film copyright Saeed Taji Farouky, courtesy of the artist and Newertown | Art

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