Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme, And Yet My Mask Is Powerful Part 1, 2016, 5 channel video projection, tools, bricks and boards

And yet my mask is powerful
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful
It pumps my blood with power

The clearing. We find ourselves in the wreck once again and then again. A perpetual crisis leaves us suspended at ground zero. The potential to radically re-imagine the world, so palpable only a blink of an eye ago, now tastes bitter in our mouths.

Neolithic masks taken from the West Bank and surrounding areas, and stored in private collections are hacked and 3d printed. Copies circulate in Palestine, eerily akin to a black ski mask. A group of youth wear them at the site of a destroyed Palestinian village in Israel. Becoming other, becoming anonymous, in this accidental moment of ritual and myth. Initiating a series of trips to possess and almost be possessed by these strangely living sites of erasure and wreckage. Only now, returning to the site of destruction as the very site from which to cast a new projection that palpably evokes the potential of an unrealised time, not bound by the here and now or there and then. A parallel time that is not occupied, a virtual time that is not ‘our’ time.

And yet my mask is powerful confronts the apocalyptic imaginary and violence that dominates our contemporary moment, an apocalyptic vision that seems to clog up even the pores in our bodies. Taking Adrienne Rich’s poem ‘Diving into the wreck’ as the beginnings of a script, And yet my mask is powerful asks what happens to people/ place/ things/ materials when a living fabric is destroyed. How in the face of such violence can we then begin to retrieve and reconstitute living matter from the wreck itself. The project uses the trips taken by young Palestinians to sites of destroyed villages as an avatar to think about the possibility of using the site of wreckage as the very material from which to trace the faint contours of another possible time. Materials are taken from the sites, plants, flowers, stones, bits of garbage. Other objects and things, particularly tools are cast into the work and projected back into the sites. Caught in a play of scale magnified by the video projections, these objects create a disjuncture between the thing itself and its shadow, what is and what could be.

In its intersections between performativity and ritual, body and artefact, thingness and virtuality And yet my mask is powerful begins to splice together a counter-mythology to the dominant mythologies of the present. A counter-mythology that holds on to our imaginative space as the last terrain to be occupied. The layers of images, texts, sound and things perform and activate various forms of returns, flash forwards and deja vu unfolding in this gesture a dense story of erasures and reappearances, dispossession and resistance, the archaic resonating in the contemporary.
Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou Rahme, And Yet My Mask Is Powerful Part 1, 2016, 5 channel video projection, tools, bricks and boards

And yet my mask is powerful
First the air is blue and then
it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful
It pumps my blood with power

The clearing. We find ourselves in the wreck once again and then again. A perpetual crisis leaves us suspended at ground zero. The potential to radically re-imagine the world, so palpable only a blink of an eye ago, now tastes bitter in our mouths.

Neolithic masks taken from the West Bank and surrounding areas, and stored in private collections are hacked and 3d printed. Copies circulate in Palestine, eerily akin to a black ski mask. A group of youth wear them at the site of a destroyed Palestinian village in Israel. Becoming other, becoming anonymous, in this accidental moment of ritual and myth. Initiating a series of trips to possess and almost be possessed by these strangely living sites of erasure and wreckage. Only now, returning to the site of destruction as the very site from which to cast a new projection that palpably evokes the potential of an unrealised time, not bound by the here and now or there and then. A parallel time that is not occupied, a virtual time that is not ‘our’ time.

And yet my mask is powerful confronts the apocalyptic imaginary and violence that dominates our contemporary moment, an apocalyptic vision that seems to clog up even the pores in our bodies. Taking Adrienne Rich’s poem ‘Diving into the wreck’ as the beginnings of a script, And yet my mask is powerful asks what happens to people/ place/ things/ materials when a living fabric is destroyed. How in the face of such violence can we then begin to retrieve and reconstitute living matter from the wreck itself. The project uses the trips taken by young Palestinians to sites of destroyed villages as an avatar to think about the possibility of using the site of wreckage as the very material from which to trace the faint contours of another possible time. Materials are taken from the sites, plants, flowers, stones, bits of garbage. Other objects and things, particularly tools are cast into the work and projected back into the sites. Caught in a play of scale magnified by the video projections, these objects create a disjuncture between the thing itself and its shadow, what is and what could be.

In its intersections between performativity and ritual, body and artefact, thingness and virtuality And yet my mask is powerful begins to splice together a counter-mythology to the dominant mythologies of the present. A counter-mythology that holds on to our imaginative space as the last terrain to be occupied. The layers of images, texts, sound and things perform and activate various forms of returns, flash forwards and deja vu unfolding in this gesture a dense story of erasures and reappearances, dispossession and resistance, the archaic resonating in the contemporary.