Screening: A magical substance flows into me (2015)
Jumana Manna
5 February 2019, 6.30pm–7.40pm

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This beautiful 2015 film by Jumana Manna weaves through the musical traditions of a multitude of communities living in and around Jerusalem. Responding to German-Jewish ethnomusicologist Robert Lachmann’s field recordings of ‘Oriental’ groups in Palestine in the 1930s, Manna revisits the communities he studied, playing his recordings and making recordings of her own.

Palestinian artist Jumana Manna (b. 1987) makes films and sculptures that explore the ways in which social, political and interpersonal forms of power interact with the human body. Her films weave together fact and fiction, biographical and archival materials, to investigate constructions of national and historical narratives. Her sculptures, more abstract by comparison, take interest in the calcifications of memory, as represented by the artefact real or forged. In recent projects, Manna has used film and sculpture to recompose various materials that pertain to historical narratives of the Levant and northern Europe as separate and relational geographies. These works have explored the ways in which economic, political and interpersonal forms of power condition architectural sites as well as human and plant life. Manna has a particular interest in the erasures that accompany various modern scientific preservation practices; her projects challenge the binary constructions of pure and unchanging heritage on the one hand, and the embrace of innovation on the other. 

Recent solo exhibitions include: Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, 2018; Mercer Union, Toronto, 2017; Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK, 2015; Malmo Konsthall, SE, 2016; Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, 2015; and Sculpture Center, New York, USA, 2014. Manna has participated in group exhibitions in the Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2017), at Kunsthalle Wien, Liverpool Biennial, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Marrakech Biennale 6, The Jerusalem Show VII, Al Ma’mal Foundation, and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Bærum. Manna’s films have been screened in festivals such as the 54th Viennale International Film Festival, 66th Berlinale Forum and IFFR Rotterdam. She was awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Palestinian Artist Award in 2012, the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts 2017, and was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in Berlin in 2017. She lives and works in Berlin. 

Image: Jumana Manna, A magical substance flows into me, 2015. Film still, courtesy of the artist.