while in residency at marra.tein, alia farid spent her time working on a film-portrait of the rashid karami international fairgrounds in tripoli designed by brazilian architect oscar niemeyer. the film is a commission by the fundação bienal de são paulo for showcasing as part of the 32nd bienal de são paulo, which is set to open in september 2016.
53 miles north of beirut, in the formerly tripartite city of tripoli, sits an urban park not unlike ibirapuera. comprised of 15 structures, some more complete than others, the park was intended for hosting the world’s fair before construction was interrupted in 1975 by the lebanese civil war.
viewers are guided around the park by a female figure who, in mirroring the unfinished oeuvre, never fully comes into character. reoccurring images of the woman’s movements in space are cut with images of people exercising and pruning the gardens (the only maintained aspect of the park). her condition as a hollow vessel is both a symbol of hope and defeat. nothing happens. past and present dissolve, leaving viewers and actors alike stranded, waiting for the future.
alia previously visited marra.tein in order to develop work focusing on the connections between latin america and the middle east expressed through architecture / histories of exchange & exile.