The film considers the fate of the city’s alienated like Lakhrissi – Arab and queer, growing up in Paris’ outer suburbs – who are locked out of future possibilities.
“I know nobody will improve themselves in my place constantly waiting for the alignment of the stars while acting in the moment,” the artist quotes to camera. “Bitter is the truth. You have to get used to it.”
Lakhrissi’s film is one of 90-plus artists creatives and collectives that will participate in the Biennale titled Nirwin, the Wiradjuri word for edge.
Some artists were creating work directly responding to the Biennale sites such as Cockatoo Island and the Art Gallery of NSW by bending and moulding ideas and space inspired by existing objects on display, artistic director Brook Andrew said.
“Other artist presentations will challenge dominant narratives and propose exciting new futurisms often through the eyes of non-Western centric ideas. These are exciting and sometimes difficult propositions that for many represent an authentic and balanced world view,” he said.
Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens will present an immersive installation that comments on the disproportionate number of Indigenous women in Australian refuges and correctional centres.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan/Lebanon) will present Once Removed, an audio visual work that features a young historian who is the reincarnation of a 16-year-old soldier who died in 1984, during the Lebanese Civil War. Abu Hamdan was one of four winners announced for this year’s Turner Prize after all shortlisted artists requested that they share the award “in the name of commonality, multiplicity, and solidarity”.
Lakhrissi who did not formally study art, graduating from Sorbonne with a degree in literature, says he uses language and fiction to point to uncomfortable truths.
This work, to be presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, had been inspired by films such as The Matrix, X-Men and Under the Skin, as well as the auteur David Lynch, and Japanese science fiction writing.
Entering the enclosed cinema space, visitors will have to pass through a blue velvet curtain. The threshold suggests the suspension of reality, but also acts as an allegory for the way we live in bubbles . . . or spaceships.