SCREEN: CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe by Liv Schulman

Artist: Liv Schulman

Title: CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe

Curated by: Ana Iwataki and Marion Vasseur Raluy

Text by: Keith J. Varadi

Screening: December 13, 2017 – January 14, 2018

Year: 2016

Duration: 7’53”

Cue generic jazz music. A mysterious woman in a trench coat glides her palm against a nondescript wall. She touches the tips against the cretaceous concrete and pokes her right index finger into a crumbled hole. There is sexuality at the start, but not much sexiness. A city under grey skies slowly begins to reveal itself—majestic with a harsh history and tropical trees, but the buildings at large look like they’ve been victimized by harrowing winds, while the palms of the large plants eerily blow about, at times with the curls on her head. She smokes a skinny cigarette, like a noir character or a contestant on a lot outside the studio of a daytime talk show. She talks and talks and talks, coyly looking to and from the camera, musing on existential differences between the West and the rest. The camera pulls back and points up to the decrepit skeleton of a structure, which she also strokes (from afar). Don’t we all do this in our daydreams? We see faces and places, memories of things we didn’t even experience in everything from floor tiles to clouds. Our “protagonist” gets down on hands and knees, shuffles shoddy Hollywood posters with her Revlon-ized hands and crumples a couple at a time—Taken, Back to the Future—and rubs them against her face, sniffing them as if to revel in the multitude of conundrums presented by and in cinema: Hope, despair, nostalgia, fear. Movies mirror life; life mimics film. She asks, “What is a revolutionary if not a professional of selling and buying?” and “What is a screenwriter if not an undercover soldier?” Earlier in the video, she plainly states, “Hollywood screenwriters are the new gun dealers” and “I will not use a foreign currency to finance a solution.” Throughout, she casually weaves a narrative between French existentialist theory and arms trafficking. As the video comes to an end, she smokes another twig cig, next to the coast, wavering between brooding confidence and desperation for attention. The final sentiment: “The secret of civilians is that they never existed.” In my country—the Sometimes United States of America—people stopped selling and buying civics a while back. But were we ever civil? What is civility, actually, anyways? I do not know this woman or from where she comes, but I can relate to where she is and where she wants to go. Cue generic jazz music.

Liv Schulman is an Argentinean artist who lives and works in France. She studied art and art writing at the ENAPC in Paris, Goldsmiths University in London and the UTDT ini Buenos Aires. She took part in the Biennale de Rennes 2016 Incorporated !, (cur. François Piron), and in the series of exhibitions “Tes mains dans mes chaussures” at the Galerie, Centre d’art contemporain de Noisy–le-Sec in 2017 (cur. Vanessa Desclaux & Emilie Renard). She has exhibited her work in Copenhagen (“L’Obstruction”, a solo show at the sixtyeightartinstitute) and at Zoo Galerie (“The Night Shift”, a solos how) as well as many other places. She has also published two books with Tammy Metzler Publishing House and is the co-creator and editor in chief of the art writing newspaper El Flasherito.

Keith J. Varadi is a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, researcher, and curator. He has exhibited internationally and published widely. Recent projects include Death Becomes Him, a solo exhibition at Galerie Tobias Naehring in Leipzig, Germany and Liver, Loner, a group exhibition he organized at David Shelton Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe, 2016, video, 7’53” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe, 2016, video, 7’53” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe, 2016, video, 7’53” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe, 2016, video, 7’53” (video still)

Liv Schulman, CONTROL, A TV SHOW– Season 3 Episode 4 – El Nuevo Cinema Arabe, 2016, video, 7’53” (video still)

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