Screening event / Manufacturing Memory: If It Only Were A Dream

This event has been put on hold until we receive further information on the current course of the Covid-19 pandemic

29 April 2020, 7-9pm at RCA Battersea

As a new addition to this year’s programme, Open Space presents one night of four artist screenings inspired by its 2020 theme Manufacturing
, followed by a Q&A.

Artists: Ali Kazma, Basim Magdy, Gerard Ortin Castellvi and Rowena Harris.

The film screening will last an hour followed by a Q&A moderated by the founding director of Open Space Huma Kabakcı with artists Rowena Harris, Basim Magdy and Gerard Ortin.

Open Space presents a one off film screening titled If It Only Were A Dream followed by an artist Q&A at Royal College of Art, Battersea. Manufacturing Memory directly examines and questions the dichotomy between memory and technology through a diverse arts programme. Whilst questioning both organic and artificial memory, If It Only Were A Dream envisions an alternative universe where machines are more like humans and the presence of humans are disappearing. With films by artists Rowena Harris, Ali Kazma, Basim Magdy and Gerard Ortin, this curated screening explores the human and post-human condition in the current climate.

In the two films titled Clerk and Robot, Ali Kazma’s work raises fundamental questions about human activity in economic, industrial, scientific, medical, social, and artistic spheres. Kazma’s videos and practice outlines a different facet of his on-going study of the ways in which our current world is changing, consisting of a detailed archive on the human condition.

Rowena HarrisMolecular Multiplicities is an inspection of ‘The Human’ exploring the intimacies of skin through digital footage and a medical-science narrative. As a highly polished digital manipulation, the figure appears troubling hyperreal – both human and its dissolution into 3D artifice. In this perceptual tension is another humanness in slow reveal.

In his latest film, titled Reserve, Gerard Ortín Castellví explores the fragile balance of a territory after the disappearance of the predator where the complex co-existence between humans and non-humans presents a distinctly marked anthropogenic ecosystem. The wolf no longer inhabits the land that once formed part of its territory, and only through its outlines can we get closer to it; remnants of wolf traps, predator urine imported from the US, a dung-hill used to feed scavenger birds and archers that shoot at replicas of animals.

In his film New Acid, Basim Magdy creates as a collector, a storyteller, a researcher, a manipulator, a chemist and a philosopher, an alternative reality where several animals chat via text messages. Between mundane exchanges of words and humour, rivalries emerge. Have they become human?

Film schedule:

Ali Kazma, Clerk, 2011, Single channel video with sound, 3 min. 5’ sec. Courtesy of the Artist and Vehbi Koç Foundation.

Gerard Ortín Castellví, Reserve, 2020, Single channel video with sound, 27 min. With the collaboration of: Fundació Joan Miró, Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Azala, S8 Input.

Ali Kazma, Robot (Resistance Series), 2013, Single channel video with sound, 6 min. Courtesy of the Artist and Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV).

Rowena Harris, Molecular Multiplicities, 2019, single channel HD video with stereo sound, 9 min. 20 sec. Courtesy of the Artist.

Basim Magdy, New Acid, 2019. Super 16mm and computer generated text messages transferred to Full HD. 14 min. 18 sec. Commissioned by La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France.


Ali Kazma (b.1971, Istanbul) completed his BA in the University of Colorado at Boulder and received his MA from The New School University in New York City. The artist, who represented Turkey at the 55th Venice Biennale- Pavilion of Turkey in 2013, had a comprehensive solo exhibition at Jeu de Paume, Paris in 2017. Ali Kazma’s solo exhibitions include Galeri Nev Istanbul (Istanbul, 2019), Albergo Diurno Venezia (Milan, 2018), MUNTREF (Buenos Aires, 2018), Arter (Istanbul, 2015), CAPRI (Düsseldorf, 2015), Hirshhorn Museum (Washington, 2010). Group exhibitions and biennials include 6th Kuandu Biennale (Taipei, 2018), 7th Moscow International Biennale of Contemporary Art (Moscow, 2017), MAXXI (Rome, 2016), Musée d’Art Contemporaine de Lyon (Lyon, 2013), 30th Sao Paulo Biennial (Sao Paulo, 2012), Istanbul Biennial (Istanbul, 2001, 2007, 2011) Muzeum Sztuki Lodz (Lodz, 2012), Istanbul Modern (Istanbul, 2011), Museum Kunstpalast (Düsseldorf, 2010) and New Museum (New York, 2010). He has received the UNESCO Prize for Promotion of the Arts in 2001 and the Nam June Paik Award in 2010. The artist’s works have been included in a number of institutional collections such as CNAP (Paris), Istanbul Modern, MEP (Paris), MONA (Tasmania), Sztuki Museum (Lodz), Tate Modern (London), TBA21 (Vienna), Foundation Louis Vuitton Collection (Paris) and VKV Foundation Collection (Istanbul). Ali Kazma lives and works in Istanbul and Paris.

Basim Magdy (born 1977 in Assiut, Egypt) lives and works between Basel and Cairo. His work appeared recently in solo exhibitions at MAAT Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, Lisbon; La Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France; MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; MAXXI National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome; Jeu de Paume, Paris; CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux; Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin; Arnolfini, Bristol and in group shows at MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Castello di Rivoli, Torino, New Museum Triennial, New York; Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-On-Hudson, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; La Biennale de Montreal, Montreal; MEDIACITY Seoul Biennial; 13th Istanbul Biennial; Sharjah Biennial 11; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; The High Line, New York, La Triennale: Intense Proximity, Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Gerard Ortín Castellví (b. 1988, Barcelona) studied Fine Arts at University of Barcelona, completed an MFA at Sandberg Instituut (Amsterdam) and recently finished the Artists’ Film and Moving Image MA at Goldsmiths University of London, where he is now doing a PhD. He has recently showed his work at LUX (London) and exhibited at Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona) as well as in Tabakalera (Donostia-San Sebastián), Stedelijk Museum Buro of Amsterdam (Amsterdam), Office for Contemporary Art (Oslo), Open (Reykjavík), Seager Gallery (London). His works have been screened in places like Cinéma du Réel (Paris), the Anthology Film Archives (NY), Zumzeig Cinecooperativa (BCN), Numax (Santiago de Compostela). He collaborates with the artists and filmmaker coop Tractora based in the Basque Country.

Rowena Harris (b. 1985, Norfolk, UK) is completing her AHRC funded PhD at Goldsmiths College’s Art Department, where she also gained her MFA in Fine Art (2010), after her BA in Fine Art at University College Falmouth (2008). Her interdisciplinary practice, with an increasing focus on moving image, has been recently screened at the BFI (London) as Tenderflix shortlist, as solo projects with Las Palmas (Lisbon), The Gallery Apart (Rome), Van Horbourg (Basel), Coleman Projects (London), as well as Trafó (Budapest), Osvaldo Licini (Ascoli Piceno, Italy), Agnes Varis Center (New York), Saarländische (Berlin), Fondazione Memmo (Rome), The Bluecoat (Liverpool), The Barbican, The White Cube, Flat Time House, Tenderpixel, Copperfield (London). She was recently awarded a one year residency at The British School at Rome, later this year will be resident at Rupert (Vilnius) and participate in Re-Act Contemporary at MAH Museum (Azores). She was a member of the collective and editor of the art journal Misery Connoisseur, 2012–16.

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