Larissa Sansour: In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain
Launch event: 14 January 2016, 6pm - 9pm
Artist Larissa Sansour was born in Jerusalem and her practice is underscored by the urgency of Palestine's political problems. She typically deploys dry wit and pop culture references in her work as a means of cutting through cultural divides and connecting the international community with the universal relevance of this situation. Allusions to comic strips, sit coms and Hollywood films feature heavily throughout Sansour's previous works, however this exhibition focuses specifically on her more recent exploration into the genre of sci-fi.
The exhibition begins with A Space Exodus (2009). Inspired by Stanley Kubric's iconic film, with a nod towards Neil Armstrong's moon walk, the piece depicts a female Palestinian astronaut travelling to the extremities of outer space in order to claim land for her nation. Palestinauts (2010), a collection of toy-like astronauts bearing the Palestinian flag on their space suits, swarm the gallery, playfully extending the dialogue around power and colonisation. In the film installation Nation Estate (2012) Sansour's use of irony and humour continues, however here she also introduces fantastical CGI aesthetics to showcase the absurdity and surrealism of Palestine's situation. The film explores a vertical solution to Palestinian's diminishing claim to land – their own state in the form of a single skyscraper with a floor dedicated to each Palestinian city.
The show concludes with Sansour's newest work in film, In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain (2015). Addressing the politics of archaeology, this piece depicts a resistance group on the brink of the apocalypse, burying elaborate porcelain which is suggested to belong to this entirely fictional civilisation. Their aim is to influence history and support future claims to their vanishing lands. Once unearthed, this tableware will prove the existence of this counterfeit people. By implementing a myth of its own, their work becomes a historical intervention – de facto creating a nation.
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain is co-commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through Film London Artists' Moving Image Network with funding from Arts Council England; New Art Exchange; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton; and The Mosaic Rooms, A.M.Qattan Foundation, London; with support from Doha Film Institute; The Danish Arts Council, Arts Council England, Iambic Film, Knud Højgaards Fond and Contemporary Art Platform – Kuwait. Produced by Spike Film and Video, Bristol.
The new film, In The Future They Ate From The Finest Porcelain will tour to Wolverhampton Art Gallery, 10 September - 29 October 2016.
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Litchfield Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DU
+44 (0)1902 552055, www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk