During 48 hours the last weekend for Larissa Sansour's exhibition at Bildmuseet, we will stream the two-channel science fiction film In Vitro (28 min). Do not miss this unique opportunity to watch this poetic film at home or wherever in the world you are. Language: Arabic. You will see the film with English subtitles via this link:
ABOUT THE FILM
In Vitro is set in Bethlehem, Palestina, after a devastating disaster has destroyed the city. Massive torrents of liquid black oil are gushing through the streets, flooding the old city district. The floods of oil reach Manger Square in front of the Church of Nativity, setting the church alight. The city is deserted and the inhabitants have sought refuge beneath the city until life above ground can be established once again.
In one of these bunkers, we meet the young woman Alia, who is visiting her elderly teacher, Dunia, who is dying. Here they attempt, along with other scientists, to re-cultivate crops and plants in a subterranean greenhouse by using seeds collected prior to the apocalypse. They hope, one day, to be able to recreate the old pre-apocalyptic world.
The dialogue between the two women evolves into a conversation on reminiscence and memory. Alia was born in exile below ground as part of an extensive cloning programme and she has never seen the place she will help to rebuild. Nevertheless, she remembers vivid details from the pre-apocalyptic life. She has never experienced a rising or setting sun, still, she is able to recall dusk and dawn. Her own memories have been replaced by the narratives implanted in her.
The film shows glimpses of memories of the past, memories from everyday life at the city’s market, church bells pealing, and olives being harvested, memories of a childhood spent in a townhouse, and the flight from the city when disaster struck. Whereas Dunia and the older generation experience life below ground as a temporary exile, life in the bunker is the only life known to Alia.
Alia calls into question, therefore, whether the heritage and memories passed on to her are of any use when the old world has been destroyed and a new one is to be built. It makes no sense to Alia to cling to remnants of the past and reproduce its myths and constructions – should the past define the future or is survival rooted in something else?
Bildmuseet / 40 Years of International Contemporary Art in Umeå, Sweden