This year, Turku Art Museum’s Darkroom showcases video art from the Middle East. The next work in the series is Nation Estate (2012) by the Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour.
A sci-fi short in format, Nation State addresses the situation in Palestine by suggesting an ironically vertical solution to one of the most difficult impasses in the Middle East. In the film’s imaginary future, the entire State of Palestine is contained within a single skyscraper, with each town on its own floor living the “high life”. The masterfully constructed imagery depicts a monumental and clinical dystopia whose main character is played by Sansour herself. The gigantic residential complex offers a haven to the protagonist, who has returned from a trip abroad, but the theme of homecoming also suggests further horizons.
Nation Estate has toured museums and film festivals around the world, and became the centre of attention when Larissa Sansour was nominated in 2011 for the Lacoste-sponsored Elysée Prize. The nomination was withdrawn by Lacoste, however, obviously because of the work’s “excessively pro-Palestinian” sympathies, leading in turn to an avalanche of protests and accusations of censorship from the art world.
Larissa Sansour was born in Jerusalem in 1973. She currently lives and works in London. Sansour’s work revolves around world politics, which she comments primarily with video, photography and multimedia. Appropriating popular culture as her language, Sansour moves smoothly between registers and styles, combining elements from comedies, Spaghetti Westerns, sci-fi movies and horror films. Sansour is known particularly for works that explore the Palestinian identity.
Meet the Artist: On Thursday, 3 October 2013, starting at 2 pm, Larissa Sansour will talk about her art in Kuvateatteri at Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54–60). The talk is in English and open to all who are interested. Free admission.