Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Queen's University Queen's University
Search Type

Shimon Attie

Tue, Oct 25, 202210:00 am
Wed, Oct 26, 202210:00 am
Thu, Oct 27, 202210:00 am
Fri, Oct 28, 202210:00 am
Venue
Art and Media Lab
Price
FREE
Series
Human Rights Arts Festival
  • Shimon Attie: The Crossing
    Shimon Attie: The Crossing

Shimon Attie: The Crossing

Tuesday to Friday, 10:00AM- 4:00PM

Saturday 1:00PM-4:00PM and 7:00PM-10:00PM

Sunday 1:00pm-4:00PM

The Crossing (2017) is a single channel art film made with 7 Syrian refugees who have recently arrived in Europe, many on rafts over the Mediterranean, some just weeks before the filming. The piece is filmed in a former casino (and present-day contemporary Kunsthalle). The Crossing unfolds as a series of slow moving tableaux in which a group of young Syrian refugees act a metaphorical tale based on their individual experience of exile and flight. Engrossed in a game of roulette, the protagonists appear physically present but mentally absent: their deadpan expressions, slow movements and silence contrast with the brutality of their fate. No word is spoken while the soundtrack oscillates between impressions of stormy seas and the pounding of an anxious heart, between the ricocheting of the roulette ball and the gripping of nails onto the tablemat. The participants hold static poses within 7 carefully crafted tableaux, with the only movement either being that of the camera, the spinning roulette wheel, or the participants themselves when one by one, they slowly, robotically “place their bets.”With each passing tableau, one person disappears from the game without a trace or explanation. As in Agatha Christie’s novel, And then there were none..., by piece’s end, there is only one participant left. The last one standing might be seen as a living monument to the thousands who have been left behind, dead or alive. The Crossing uses the language of contemporary art to reflect on the extraordinary risks migrants are forced to take in times of crisis, literally gambling for their lives. The piece is filmed with lighting reminiscent of old master paintings. None of the refugees in the piece had any performance or acting experience. The piece is shot with a 2K Arri Alexa cinema-grade camera, and the sound is played on a 2.1 system (with subwoofer).