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Basim Magdy. ‘A Series of Flickering Dreams’

9 November 2022 — 8 January 2023

Basim Magdy. ‘A Series of Flickering Dreams’
Basim Madgy, 'The Dent', 2014. Super 16mm film transferred to Full HD video, 19’ 02’’. Still image courtesy of the artist.

The Fundació Antoni Tàpies hosts a film selection by internationally recognised artist Basim Magdy (Asyut, Egypt, 1977).

What are we left with when we wake up from a dream? Sometimes it is the vivid recollection of what seemed to be an awake experience; some other times it is a tangle of flickering images that persist as an enduring echo. Instinctively, our brains might try to make sense of their meanings, yet they will not always succeed. With time, all that remains is a series of muffled feelings, the distant memory of a hallucination. And in that blurry reverberation your very own interpretation might probably manifest.

The layered films of Magdy often draw inspiration from life to create an altered perception of reality; by juxtaposing images that would normally be associated with different semiotic fields, the artist manages to make even absurd occurrences seem plausible. As shown in the films selected for this show–Crystal Ball (2013), The Dent (2014) and FEARDEATHLOVEDEATH (2022)–our effort of attributing a logic to what we see is immediately swept away by the immersive sensory experience generated by the masterly editing. Sound, especially, becomes a determining factor in creating the feeling of an enveloping ambience and the illusion of a continuous present that captures you until your eyes are wide open again.

As it happens with dreams, it can be said that in Magdy’s work reality blurs with fiction and that the veracity of a vision loses its urgency. What gains importance is, instead, a new horizon of possibility, where past, present and future collapse and a novel interpretation arise. The question is: what is it that you’ll remember once you are awake?

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