By Maees Hadi
The reconstructions that compose the body of work are of seven memories and experiences that show a normality, they show a familiar European setting, environments that are relatable and “normal”, but they tell stories about displacement, about sanctions and a war that followed and stayed. These reconstructions are of the history and present of a displaced individual, me, Maees Hadi, they do not aim to reconstruct a physical reality, because I don’t believe I can nor am I interested in doing that but they rather try to show a reality that is not tangible but an experience that is subjective. Subjectivity and human experience in topics of war are often dismissed. These second-hand memories and experiences are reconstructed using found footage, still frames, models and dialog each creating a recontextualization of the experience of violence, which is excavated psychologically through the footage I chose. These four methods created a methodology that allowed for film making that investigates an experience of political violence where one is physically detached. The use of found footage could show the reality of the abstract experience, where war becomes the dialog, the ringtone, the feelings of guilt and challenges the viewer to listen, feel and question and watch again. Model making allowed for a more composed image and used the spatial knowledge that I have as an architect to communicate an experience through atmospheric qualities in what became an imaginary place. The film functions as single, unified work where personal history is fragmented in time and space. The different film segments move back and forth, interrupting the linearity and connectedness of time to the reality of these experiences. The film presents different memories that time carries and what is most personal becomes most universal. The construction of the films was inspired by film makers such as Chris Marker, Maya Deren and Tarkovsky and draws on the dream-like narratives and the experiments with time and space. The “slowness” of everyday in Tarkovsky’s films became inspirational to create films that allowed for long silent scenes that simply show life. The slowness of the films became also a critique to the temporary consumption of the representation of the individual that have experienced political violence, which is a representation that we have quick access to but is as quickly forgotten as accessed.
Text written by Maees Hadi