Reclaiming Histories - New Canadian Films on Art
until May 2, 2021 @ Kunstverein Braunschweig
“Strange is how every movement ends with stillness; stranger is that stillness is destined to move” – Fadi Yeni Turk
There are two major events in a monument’s life: its erection and its demolition.
As the Arabic world experiences times of turbulent political change, Lebanese filmmaker Fadi Yeni Turk documents the monuments’ fates. With the essay film Monumentum, Yeni Turk, who also works as press photographer, turns away from current political catastrophes and instead contemplates the independent existence of monuments.
“I stood still before them, contemplating and wondering why I have not stood and contemplated them before.” So begins Fadi Yeni Turk’s fascinating journey into countless squares, crossroads, and corners of Middle Eastern and North African cities that remain unnamed. By directing the gaze towards the supposed motionlessness of the statues and by means of his sensitive and melancholic narration, the film creates a distance to the catastrophic events of the day which resembles the distant way children observe their environment.
In doing so, the film discovers the defiant autonomy of the monuments, as does the stone in a hidden cemetery, concealing the religious affiliation of the dead. In this way, the most diverse memorials are born from the consistent, identical raw materials in the sculptor’s workshop; statues patiently await their removal from the sculptor’s courtyard… In the steady rhythm of this contemplation appears an entirely new possibility of political discourse. Monumentum responds to the insanity of our times with poetic resistance.
Fadi Yeni Turk
In addition to his work as a photo reporter and director of photography of a number of documentary films, Fadi Yeni Turk is the director and scriptwriter of short and feature documentary films. These include Demo (2003), Layn (2006), When the War Sank In (2010), and Monumentum (2015).