Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind: Sci-fi Became our Refuge
“By leaving the past behind, we can see what follows through: what continues to become important.”
In their films, sculptures, and photographic work, the Palestinian-Danish artist duo Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind engages with topics of trauma, identity, displacement, and nationhood tied to the specific political context of Palestine. Read more …
In this interview, Sansour and Lind explain how fiction has become a mode of political imagination and a way to address present matters outside the dominant discourse of the Israel-Palestine conflict:
“By setting your whole world in a sci-fi universe, you are able to discuss things in depth without being framed in the dialog of how you’re supposed to really be talking about that place,” Sansour explains.
While living in New York, the duo started to reflect on the discrepancy in the media coverage of the events in Palestine and what they were told through relatives. By adopting an increasingly fictionalized form in their works, the artists were able to address the current political issues and the tension between fact and fiction.
Through the use of aesthetic conventions typically associated with mainstream film, the two artists seek to legitimize the debate being had in their works and to shift ideas around agency:
“If you’re the subject of a documentary, you’re the one being analyzed. Whereas with sci-fi or fiction, you take on this role: You are part of this world, and you are speaking the same language.”
Thus, using science fiction became a form of resistance: a trope that enables the duo to transcend the binaries of the contemporary discourse around Palestine and explore complex social issues with imaginative narratives that provoke critical reflection.
As Søren Lind concludes: ”Sci-fi kind of became our refuge where we could take with us some of these more speculative topics that fall between the cracks.”
Larissa Sansour (b. 1973, East Jerusalem) has MA in fine art from New York University and has studied fine art, art history and criticism in London, Baltimore and Copenhagen. In 2019 Larissa Sansour represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale with her exhibition Heirloom; displaying the works In Vitro (2019) and A Monument for Lost Time (2019) which she made in collaboration with Søren Lind.
Søren Lind (b. 1970, Copenhagen) has a MA in philosophy from New York University. He is a director, screenwriter and author of several books. The duo has been long terms collaborators and co-directors. Their works are exhibited in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including MoMA (US), Barbican (UK), Nikolaj Kunsthal (DK), Berlinale (D), International Film Festival Rotterdam (NL) and BFI London Film Festival (UK). The duo lives and works in London.
Larissa Sansour and Søren Lind were interviewed by Nanna Rebekka in February 2023 in London and filmed in their exhibition Tomorrow’s Ghosts at Kunsten in Aalborg in March 2023.
Camera: Kyle Stevenson, Simon Weyhe
Produced and edited by: Nanna Rebekka
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and Fritz Hansen.
Becoming Paul McCarthy
On the influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artistSeries / 3 videos