Through a practice that includes moving image, film, printmaking, and installation, Bouchra Khalili examines political agency and the nation state. The artist was born in Casablanca during the Moroccan Years of Lead, and her practice is informed by the history of the Moroccan avantgarde and the oral transmission of suppressed histories. Khalili charts the revolutionary impulse by building complex narratives, often weaving together personal and archival footage from historical instances of resistance.
In November 2022, Callie’s will present the Berlin premiere of Khalili’s new moving image installation The Magic Lantern. The work continues Khalili’s investigation into genealogies of decolonization movements and international solidarity. Khalili conceptualized and filmed The Magic Lantern while in residence in the same space in which it will be exhibited, returning the work to the site of creation.
The Magic Lantern reactivates the art of the phantasmagoria, a technique from the late 18th century that combined projected imagery with vivid storytelling in order to conjure ghosts. Notably, activists used the technology to keep the spirit of French revolutionaries, such as Marat or Robespierre, alive in the public imagination. Together, the components of Khalili’s installation invite a meditation on the transmission of emancipatory ideas.
The work takes as a starting point The Nero of Amman, a lost video work by Swiss media pioneer and activist Carole Roussopoulos (1945-2009), produced in the aftermath of 1970 massacres of Palestinian refugees, committed by the army of King Hussein. Roussopoulos has been an ongoing subject for Khalili and is addressed in her earlier works Foreign Office (2015) and Twenty-Two Hours (2018).
The exhibition opens Friday November 4th, 6-9pm, and runs until December 3rd. Opening hours are Thursday to Saturday, from 1 to 7pm. Entry to the exhibition is free of charge.