Selma Feriani Gallery is very happy to announce that Ismaïl Bahri’s Foyer video has won the Videoex International Competition 2017.
Statement of the jury:
In choosing Foyer, we felt this work offered a powerful combination of formal experimentation with a rigorous and deeply affecting conceptual simplicity. For 31 minutes, we watch only a blank piece of paper barely moving in the wind, with the barest hints of colour and form penetrating its surface, while the filmed scenario, at first ambiguous in time and place, slowly builds in our imagination through on-screen text and recorded street conversations.
Foyer expands the notion of authoring. The blinking white paper in front of the camera opens a three-way communication between the filmmaker, the walkers and the audience. We each make our own fantasy or fear of the empty image, and it can also evoke the menace of the unknown.
Foyer presents a cinema not quite of absence, but of the barest traces. It is nothing like blankness, and it speaks of concealment: all that is hidden from view is made all the more powerfully present. Street conversations with the filmmaker, about filmmaking, Tunisian identity, exile and belonging punctuate the flickering blankness. A totally captivating work that serves to remind us all that a film, and its subjective meanings, is only finally assembled through our own experience of watching it.