FIlm still, Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File, 2010 (Arabic with English Subtitles, 45 minutes)

Serpentine Cinema: CINACT

Sunday 13 March, 3pm

The Gate Cinema, 87 Notting Hill Gate

Artists Redmond Entwistle and Wael Shawky present recent film works as part of Serpentine Cinema: CINACT, a series of monthly film screenings and events at The Gate cinema in Notting Hill which presents an opportunity to view rarely seen artists’ film in a cinema context.

Wael Shawky will be having a residency at the Centre for Possible Studies in April and again in Summer. To find out more about his residency please see:http://www.serpentinegallery.org/edgware_road_project.html

We will be presenting the epic marionette film, Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File (2010). The film offers a view on the history of the Crusades, revisiting the events that unfolded over a period of four years (1096-1099) and played a key role in subsequent historical developments, shaking to the core the Arab world and its relations with the West.
Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show File, an epic marionette film, offers a view on the history of the Crusades, revisiting the events that unfolded over a period of four years (1096-1099) and played a key role in subsequent historical developments, shaking to the core the Arab world and its relations with the West.

The film is inspired by Amin Maalouf’s The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1986) which re-examines the history of the Crusades by going back to Arab historians and their writings.  Opening with a scene of the plague in Constantinople, the film examines the causes and horrific effects of the religious war and its impact on European and Arab relations, in the form of images based on a reconstruction of events seen through the eyes of those who had to confront the invasion. Shawky provides a precise description of the places in the Middle East and Europe that formed the backdrop for the early Crusades. The film is made with 200-year-old marionettes from the Lupi collection in Turin, Italy. Dressed in costumes of the Christian and Muslim armies of the time, the marionettes are moved by visible strings.  What emerges is a surreal and mythical atmosphere that blends drama and cynicism, telling a story of events that have a profound resonance today, asking who pulls the strings today?

ON WAEL SHAWKY:
Born in 1971, Wael Shawky Lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. Aside from running MASS Alexandria, the first Independent Studio Study Program for young artists in Alexandria, Egypt, Shawky has received international acclaim for his work as an artist and filmmaker. Shawky has held solo shows internationally, including the Citta Dell’Arte, Italy (2010), Gentili Apri, Berlin (2009), the Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland (2007), and Ludwigsburg Kunstverein in Germany (2005) as well as presenting work at the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005). In February 2011, he was awarded the Ernst Schering Foundation Art Award .

His work often deals with the dichotomies and contradictions of social norms, primarily relating to culture and religion. Possessing an acute sense of the absurd, he raises questions about what is generally perceived as “normal” and “acceptable”. Within this context, Shawky has explored a variety of specific themes that are often rooted in regional issues yet have profound international relevance – themes such as modernisation, cultural hybridisation, and marginalisation.

His residency with the Edgware Road Project will be undertaken in two parts, April 2011 and then in Summer 2011. His residency is in collaboration with the Townhouse Gallery, Cairo and the Delfina Foundation, London.

ABOUT SERPENTINE CINEMA:CINACT –
Serpentine Cinema: CINACT is a series of monthly artists’ film screenings and events at The Gate Cinema in Notting Hill. CINACT takes its name from American artist Henry Flynt’s 2007 cinema manifesto. In association with sketch and Picturehouse Cinemas

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