Jalal TOUFIC & Graziella Rizkallah TOUFIC
An Indefinite Visit to Hong Kong, Solaris
2016, video, 19’
Action, video documentation, 26’57”
The third of a trilogy of videos on cities (A Video Trilogy on Cities and Their Imaginal Complements) that relates to the realms with which they have the most affinity but that cannot be reached by these cities’ most characteristic modes of transportation (cars in Beirut, buses and Bosphorus ferries in Istanbul, and tramways, buses, ferries, and the underground in Hong Kong): the labyrinthfor postwar Beirut, the Imaginal World (‘ālam al- khayāl) for Istanbul and its songs, and “Solaris”for Hong Kong. The trilogy presents a one-way trip to labyrinthine postwar Beirut; a two-way trip to marginal Istanbul; and a three-way trip to Hong Kong coloured by desirous projections. What we witness in the video is not Hong Kong per se but Hong Kong as it would have been projected by the sentient ocean Solaris (of Tarkovsky’s film adaptation of Lem’s novel Solaris) and thus largely inflected by some wish. Whose? Is it that of one of the two video makers, as implied by his collaborator’s question to him: “Jalal, did you see her in Hong Kong or Solaris?” He saw her in the Hong Kong in Solaris or as projected by Solaris.
Born in 1962; lives and works in Hong Kong.
Graziella Rizkallah TOUFIC
Born 1981 in Chekka, Lebanon; lives and works in Hong Kong.
Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He was born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad and died before dying in 1989 in Evanston, Illinois. He received a BA in Philosophy from the American University of Beirut in 1984; an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University in 1987; and a PhD in Radio/TV/Film from Northwestern University in 1992. His most recent book is What Was I Thinking? (e-flux journal-Sternberg Press, 2017). His other books are available for download at his website: http://www.jalaltoufic.com. Most of his videos are available for viewing on Vimeo.
Graziella Rizkallah Toufic received her MA in Film and Video Studies in 2007. She is the video maker of Follow My Hand Animated at 24 Still Frames Per Second (2010), I Missed My Bus Stop; or Last Point (2011); as well as of four videos made in collaboration with Jalal Toufic: An Indefinite Visit to Hong Kong, Solaris (2016), Victoria Rizkallah; or, The Sticking Out Hair (2014), Ah Istanbul (2013), and Attempt 137 to Map the Drive (2011). Her videos have been shown at Home Beirut. Sounding the Neighbors, MAXXI, Rome; the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China; the First Asia Biennial & 5th Guangzhou Triennial, China; Sharjah Biennial 11, United Arab Emirates; Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Exposure 2012, Beirut Art Center. She is the eponymous reference of Jalal Toufic’s book Graziella: The Corrected Edition.