Video Art Channel: Bisheh by Mary Ana (2017)
Friday, June 15 from 6pm – 8pm
Saturday, June 16 from 6.30pm – 8.30pm
during the Video Art Channel
Bisheh (Mary Ana 2016, Iran/Sweden, 15 min, Video)
Bisheh (Persian: بیشه ) means something like “thicket” in English. Producing connections, even under the most awkward conditions, is one of Mary Ana’s most salient aesthetic and political practices. In Bisheh she does so through the activity of correspondence: writing a letter to a friend who is far from her, from you, thereby dealing with effects of distance and borders. We could call it a video-love letter. Parallel to that three women, in closet with materials of their lives, get ready for a coming resistance which might happen somewhere outside, in any place and time.
Maryam Sheikh (1981) is an Iranian artist and activist, working in video, drawing, and short story. She studied Persian Language and Literature in Iran and left the country in 2013 due to the pressures by the Iranian government because of her activities in student, working class, feminist and LGBTQ movements. She arrived at Norrköping city of refuge-Sweden at 2015 and made four film-practices during her residency including The Weavers (10min, 2015), Bisheh (15min, 2016), Resistance is life (13min, 2016), and Suspense (18min, 2017). Her works mostly tackle the themes of women, immigrants and LGBTQs condition. Maryam Sheikh also has studied film courses at Marieborg film-school as well as a documentary film course Working With the Real at Linköping University. She is currently living as a refugee in Sweden. You can check out her work at her YouTube channel.
The letter (read in Swedish, typed in English): Dear Shen,
Today I was thinking about borders, the borders that make this letter possible. And how a love letter could overcome the boundaries between here and there, by performing the words as affects that have neither a source nor a destination, but produce an open space of connections to any possible you, to the unexpected guest, and the ways I am bound with you, where you stand in the Bisheh near your owl who is about to fly. Could these words fly? These leaden whips and inky wounds inscribed on the paper, by the motion of my fingers far from you, could I capture the flying words of a revolutionary love?!
The sound of the video:
Bisheh beginns with a hissing spray bottle. It has a second part, which is dominated by the clatter of a typewriter, cautiously complemented by the sad sound of a harmonica, the former fast and insisting, the latter long-drown-out. The third part is defined by the regular click of a slide projector ejecting the next slide, accompanied by dense knocks of metal on wood, and the dull ones of wood on wood. The video ends with a pop song, which refrain runs: “United! United!”.
(perceived and described by: Antke Engel, Jule Gießler, and Anna Letsiou)