Miguel Fernandez de Castro Grammar of Gates/Gramática de las puertas, 2019
Selected by Ballroom Marfa, Texas, USA
Duration: 20:31 minuter
Miguel Fernández de Castro’s video Grammar of Gates/Gramática de las puertas is a dynamic visual and aural collage that traces the overlapping territories, languages, and conflicts that mark the border between Mexico and the U.S. within the sovereign Tohono O’odham Nation. The artist weaves together excerpt from the 1970 movie Geronimo Jones with drone and surveillance-like imagery of the landscape and an affectless recitation of phrases out of A Practical Spanish Grammar for Border Patrol Officers. The rote repetition from the textbook sets a backdrop for the banal and brutal architectures of power situated at the border.
Lerato Shadi, Mabogo Dinku, 2019
Selected by Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa.
Duration: 6 min
Lerato Shadi’s work challenges common assumptions to critique Western notions of history and make visible that which is invisible or overlooked. In particular, she critiques the assumption that Western history is world history. In the video, the artist’s hand makes enigmatic gestures and she sings a folk verse in a South African language. But she provides no subtitles or guidance on what the words and gestures mean because she is narrating the un-narratable, the history of her people, marginalized during apartheid South Africa.
Mohamed A. Gawad, betalpha (Balbalah), 2018
Selected by Mohammad and Mahera Abu Ghazaleh Foundation. Amman, Jordan.
Duration: 5:31 min
Mohamed A. Gawad’s film betalpha (Balbalah) takes off at a time before time, when a Big Bang in Babel sets in motion a perpetual process of language breeding. Gawad depicts a dystopic scenario where language, depleted and stripped of its initial inertia, can no longer keep up. It slowly starts to crumble into phonetic fragments of indistinct meaning. Yet, this loss seems to open for the opportunity to ascribe new meaning to words.