“One”, A Letter to Eternity
A magic realistic mosaic tale, of a personal quest and voyage of the individual, roaming the skies, desert and hinterlands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, connecting the Southern and Northern hemisphere, where the protagonists endure many lessons via encounters with ‘strangers’ (parts of the ‘Self’), to arrive at a sacred space: that of the alchemy of the heart.
An entangling ‘Odyssean’ tale unfolds, infused with a historical gaze, creating yet another myth of the ‘condition humaine’, in the 21st Century witnessing a choreographed collective procession of people and their proper magic rituals taking place, crossing dimensions of time, inspired by Egyptian- and Hellenistic influences from Antiquity to ClassicismDeparting from the Phoenicians’ historic maritime route, whence in ancient times stars would help to navigate one’s journey at sea, Egyptian- and Hellenistic influences from Antiquity to Classicism in the Mediterranean basin resurge during the Renaissance where art, esotericism, mathematics and alchemy infused the age of science and the industrial revolution, until at present living in times of climate change and hyperintelligence evolving at high velocity.
“One”, A Letter to Eternity, displays a human chain – and sculpture in time or ‘sculpted in time’, of people, over generations, in embrace – Pietà alike: A poetic quest exploring compassion across the Mediterranean Sea, love letter to diversity in an eternal arena of mankind in perpetual movement: two-way flow of exile and belonging. Evoked and told by locals living in present times, be their personal (his)story narrator of heroism, tragedy or the ultimate expression of love, tolerance, sorrow or compassion: A ‘living’ assembled sculpture of habitants in the Mediterranean co-creating a lasting imprint, ‘vivid blueprint’, for eternity.
Migration is at the heart of civilisation and the cycle of perpetual and eternal change and the ‘condition humaine’. Today’s refugees are the new settlers: Carriers of Hope. This poetic quest explores compassion across the Mediterranean Sea, across the globe, eventually, a love letter to diversity in an eternal arena of mankind in perpetual movement: two-way flow of exile and belonging.
Phoenicians, to be more exactly, existed from the 2nd millennium BCE, setting up merchant enclaves in Egypt, whereas due to artificial terminology they’re now referred to as Canaanites. Probably the alphabet itself emerged out of the invention of turquoise slave miners of Semitic descent (who could have been Jewish) in the Sinai around 1700 BCE. Which is why this view of the alphabet, as being first invented by the Phoenicians, is currently being rewritten with more nuance (source 2017, Elefteria Pappa).
Inspired by Greek tragedy, archaeology and the Phoenicians’ ancient maritime routes, connecting the Levant to South-East Europe and North-Africa, the idea and research took shape during a three month artist-in-residence at Ashkal Alwan, from March 1st – June 1st 2016, in affiliation with the Mondriaan Fund in The Netherlands.
October 2019 the Netherlands Film Fund allocated a startsubsidy for the first development phase of the hybrid filmproject “One”, A Letter to Eternity, intending to be developed and realized during the forthcoming years (2021-22-23).
Stills from filmrushes, a first study ‘ A Prelude’ for ‘A Letter to Eternity’ (2016, Lebanon). Directed by Ilse Frech. Cinematography and Camera: Talal Khoury and Ilse Frech. Music: Tony Elieh and Sharif Sehnaoui.
With special thanks to Elwan, Tony alias ‘Cloudly’ and his friends, Sarah Nahas and Mahmoud Merjan in Beirut, and many dear others with whom I collaborated in order to research and to create these first filmrushes.
Still from filmrushes, second study ‘ A Prelude’ for ‘A Letter to Eternity’ (2018, Tunisia). Directed by Ilse Frech. Cinematography and Camera: Ilse Frech. Cast: Najwa Miled. Poetry: Samir Farhani.
This study – and first orientation visit (2018), has become subject of a new experimental documentary film on ‘Exile and Belonging’, as a red thread and theme, throughout my work, in connotation with the Tunisian Jasmin Revolution and the Arab Spring; as of present in research (due date 2022-23).