Larissa Sansour + Søren Lind
This extraordinarily haunting film was featured in Sansour’s 2019 Venice Biennale installation, Heirloom. In Vitro ponders the mixed fortunes of Alia, a young Palestinian refugee who survives an eco-apocalypse of oily floods in an underground biobunker beneath the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. She debates the value of memory after the toxic loss of the world above with Dunia, a dying woman who recounts the ongoing history of Palestinian trauma even in threat of its erasure by ecological implosion: “we will be archives for someone else to make sense of.” The younger woman is actually the only viable clone from an underground scientific project that mines the genetic fertilizations of humans and plants. Situated in the subterranean surround of Palestinian reference, Alia not only confronts the archival enigmas of a lived history which her salvaged DNA resists, but is framed by the installation’s early twentieth-century art nouveau tiles which were housed for over a century in the Ottoman villa in Bethlehem where In Vitro was filmed. Reinstalled in Venice, the (replicated) tiles double the film’s celluloid substrate to unsettle “the idea of national representation, or any other type of ideological representation, on multiples fronts.” In Vitro provides a searing contemporary gloss on the postcolonial politics of materiality, archives, and cloning in its hallucinatory tale of the combinatory of biotechnology and political promise.
Larissa Sansour + Søren Lind (Palestine/Denmark)
Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind have worked together on numerous occasions. Lind usually provides the scripts for Sansour’s films, just as he contributed a sci-fi story for Sansour’s 2009 graphic novel The Novel of Nonel and Vovel, a collaboration with artist Oreet Ashery.
Larissa Sansour was born in 1973 in East Jerusalem, Palestine, and studied fine arts in London, New York and Copenhagen. Her work is interdisciplinary, immersed in the current political dialogue and utilises video, photography, installation, the book form and the internet. Central to her work is the tug and pull between fiction and reality.
Recent solo exhibitions include Turku Art Museum in Finland, Photographic Center in Copenhagen, Galerie Anne de Villepoix in Paris, Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Lawrie Shabibi in Dubai, Sabrina Amrani in Madrid and DEPO in Istanbul.
Sansour’s work has featured in the biennials of Istanbul, Busan and Liverpool. She has exhibited at venues such as Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; LOOP, Seoul; Al Hoash, Jerusalem; Queen Sofia Museum, Madrid; Centre for Photography, Sydney; Cornerhouse, Manchester; Townhouse, Cairo; Maraya Arts Centre, Sharjah, UAE; Empty Quarter, Dubai; Galerie Nationale de Jeu de Paume, Paris; Iniva, London; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou , China; Louisiana Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark; House of World Cultures, Berlin, and MOCA, Hiroshima.
Søren Lind (b. 1970) is a Danish author. He writes children’s books and literary fiction. With a background in philosophy, Lind wrote books on mind, language and understanding before turning to fiction. He has published a novel and two collections of short stories as well as four children’s books. In addition to his literary production, Lind is also a visual artist and writes short film scripts. Lind lives and works in London, UK.