Collaborating with members of the UAE community, Marysia Lewandowska’s Cinema Island project helps understand the importance of arts institutions in bringing media archives and private memory to public attention. Inside a chain-link, shiny cinema pavillion, we encounter oil-company documentaries intercut with home movies by local Emiratis, which are narrated by voices of women today, exploring an open-ended staging of public memory.
Whereas professional images produce orientalist narratives of modernisation, often including only Emirati and British men, private film footage allows more complex stories to emerge. That way, as Lewandowska notes, “all the members of the family are included.” The voices of women point to what cameras cannot capture. Cinema Island initiates discussion on archives, memory, and history.
Marysia Lewandowska is a Polish born, London-based artist who has been exploring the public functions of archives, museums and exhibitions. She has initiated projects involving the property of others to create new relations between forms of knowledge and ownership, activating reflections on the social and immaterial public realm.
** The event is free and open to the public.