Lida Abdul

What We Have Overlooked, 2011
16 mm film, two-channel video installation, duration: 3 min 44 secs
Clapping With Stones, 2005
16 mm film transferred to digital video, duration: 4 min 53 secs
Brick Sellers of Kabul, 2006
16 mm film transferred to digital video, duration: 5 min 55 secs

The video, filmed by a lake near Kabul, shows a man progressively slipping underwater whilst holding a flag. In an alternation of close-up and distant views, we follow the actions of the man to whom the subtitles give a voice, until he finally vanishes under the surface. In the video, Lida Abdul examines the relationship between individual and nation, represented by the flag, its abstract symbol (it holds you without holding you). The almost dialectical relationship created between a man and his country – which not only over-determines his presence but can even demand the sacrifice of his life – finally leads the artist to make clear the dramatically high price the nationalist feeling is prepared to pay: the annulment of the individual.

Video still from Brick Sellers of Kabul courtesy Giorgio Persano Gallery, Italy