Lida Abdul, In the Factory



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Lida Abdul
Check out Lida Abdul's official website.

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In Transit
Read the synopsis of Lida Abdul's video work, In Transit.

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Brooklyn Museum: Picks of the Week Blog
Check out Brooklyn Museum's Picks of the Week blog from September 25, 2007, featuring Abdul's work, What We Saw Upon Awakening.

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Want to learn more about Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan? Click below.

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TateShots: Tate Modern's Video Magazine
Listen to Lida Abdul describe another video work she created called Dome.

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Selected works: 1997-2006
Check out selected works from Lida Abdul.

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Film vs. Video
What's the advantage of using film instead of video?

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The New York Times Photos
The New York Times post pictures of the day. Check 'em out.

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Video Artist Bill Viola
Watch a video about artist Bill Viola's work for the Venice Biennale 2007, created by the Tate.

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Alphaville - Jean-Luc Godard
Characters Lemmy Caution and Natacha Von Braun debate the meaning of love in Jean-Luc Godard's "Alphaville" from 1965.

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Filmmaker Sergei Parajanov
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (Ukrainian: Тіні забутих предків, Tini zabutykh predkiv), also called Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors, Shadows of Our Ancestors, or Wild Horses of Fire - is a 1964 film by the Soviet-Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov based on the book by Ukrainian writer Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky. The film was Parajanov's first major work and earned him international acclaim for its rich use of costume and color.

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Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1964)
Check out a clip from the film Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

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Lida Abdul discusses the three different titles for her three different installations at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Nugget Factory chats with Lida to learn more about her career as an artist and filmmaker, as well her experiences in Afghanistan.

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00:00:04 My name is Lida Abdul, and the exhibition has actually three different titles because it's three different pieces that we're projecting. One is called

00:00:11 "In Transit", it's a new piece, it's made in 2008, and the other one is called "White House" made in 2005, and another piece called "Once Upon Awakening" in 2006.

00:00:27 I'll start with the first one, which is called the "White House." It's shot in the outskirts of Kabul in Afghanistan and it is a site that I've taken over.

00:00:39 It took about three days, and I painted the whole ruins white. It's a building that was built in 1900s. It used to be part of the presidential palace.

00:00:51 It's this very gorgeous house that was bombed and it looks like a Greek-roman building and it's really the process of whitewashing it and painting it and it's called the "White House."

00:01:01 The other piece called "Once Upon Awakening," again, is also...a lot of my work refers to ruins and our relationship to architecture and identity.

00:01:11 "Once Upon Awakening" is about men who are pulling ruins down. It's a group of maybe twenty men who are trying to engage with ruins and looks like this octopus

00:01:20 or a web that is created with ruins. So, it's this very beautiful video, which is black and white with white ropes and men wearing black

00:01:29 and they're really engaging this site and the last piece which is shot in 2008 is "In Transit." It's really a playful piece with

00:01:40 a group of maybe sixty kids who are playing with this very old Russian plane that was leftover maybe from fifteen to twenty years ago

00:01:51 and I was really sort of a strike by this piece because it looks between the plane and a bird, and a kind of a skeleton almost. So, it has very different kinds of shapes

00:02:03 and I thought it was really beautiful. So, I had this piece where kids are engaging with this plane and they're making it fly. It's a fantasy piece.

00:02:17 The latest piece is slightly different in the sense that I have a narrative in it, I have a subtitle, a text that scrolls in the video.

00:02:26 So, that's something new and it's interesting to see it for the first time here at the IMA.

00:02:35 I love video, I love the moving image, I've been attracted to it. I've been using video and film for the past twenty years,

00:02:44 and I am especially interested, actually, in film. I love the twenty-four frames per second. I love the idea, what it does to time, our relationship to time,

00:02:55 how it creates a kind of future and past at the same time, and it allows you to escape into a reality that is maybe not yours.

00:03:10 Art has a sort of a delayed effect. It doesn't effect you right away, but I've noticed with myself that when I see a painting or a piece that I enjoy,

00:03:20 it's a feeling that you have and it's an image that you have in your mind and you go away with this image and later on it unravels and it's sort of you kind of say,

00:03:32 " I understand it and now it's doing something for me as a person." So, I think it's that image, that little image, that you can have, even if it's one second or one frame of the video,

00:03:43 that's what I would like that the audience takes away with them.

00:03:52 I am very visual person. So, I am constantly looking at images and it's sort of an addiction. So looking at, I'm influenced from New York Times to watching the latest film that just came out,

00:04:07 but very much I would say my influences are in cinema. I look at a lot of works that are coming out by independent filmmakers and video artists

00:04:18 from history of video, from Bill Viola to looking at Jean-Luc Godard films. So, there is a wide range of influences and inspirations.

00:04:31 My most memorable film that I've seen this year is a film called "In Shadow of Our Ancestors." It's an old film by Sergei Paradjanov, who's a Georgian Russian filmmaker

00:04:45 who is making work in the '60s and I thought it was really amazing and so that has been a major source of inspiration for my work this year.

00:04:57 I think maybe I would be a writer because they also have this capacity to create a world that is so dynamic that

00:05:06 really lets you escape and lets you create an alternative way of looking at the world. So, if I was not a visual artist, maybe I would be a writer.

00:05:21 [So you're gonna look at me...] Okay [...and pretend the camera's not there.]

00:05:24 Oh, okay, that's nice. It's good to not look at the camera.