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Louis-Cyprien Rials

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

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Artist
Louis-Cyprien Rials
Title
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
Year
2015
Duration
5 min 55 s
Format & Technical

Single Channel installation, HD video, Colour, Sound 
5 +2 AP

LOOP Edition
Ed. 2016
Presented in LOOP by
Galerie Dohyang Lee
  • Music: Louis-Cyprien Rials
  • Text: Louis-Cyprien Rials
  • Produced By: Louis-Cyprien Rials
  • Postproduction: Guillaume Faure
  • Sound mix: Mer Noire
  • Photography: Louis-Cyprien Rials
  • Special Thanks: Dr Karim Najmiddin, Almas Fazil, Kaka Bra, Majid Habib, Bakr Sofi, Hiwa Hassan

On the main oil field of Baba Gurgur, an eternal fire is burning, the same fire mentioned in the Book of Daniel, from where God saved three jew children, thrown into the flames by King Nabuchodonosor, because they did not worship his idols.
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Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin is a video shot in 2015 in Kirkuk, Iraq, a few miles from the Islamic State. On the main oil field of Baba Gurgur, an eternal fire is burning, the same fire mentioned in the Book of Daniel, from where God saved three Jewish children, thrown into the flames by King Nabuchodonosor, because they did not worship his idols.
This succession of still plans shows, at the same time, the oil installations, as threatening steel monsters lost in the desert, and this sacred fire inscribed in a circle, mythical punishment of an idolatry, which became itself the object of worship, and contemporary predations. From the close-ups of the flames, some voices seem to come out like choirs, as if gas and heat distorting the image would make this dystopia melodious.
Quietly mixed with the soundtrack, choirs of women praying in Aramaic, recorded for months in refugee camps of the North of Iraq, bring the necessary voice of the most direct victims of the conflicts. The soundtrack provides the place with the biblical, archeological and spiritual depth it needs. This feeling is drawn from the apocalyptic and threatening nature of the flames and the film’s title: ”Weighed, Weighed, Counted, Divided”.

Stills