Alter///scrinium. 10 Theses Of The Architecture. Screening Part 2011
Knut Asdam. Tripoli
  • Director: Knut Åsdam

    Born in 1968 in Trondheim. He currently lives and works in Oslo.

    Selected personal exhibitions:
    2010 — Knut Åsdam — Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen
    2005 — Knut Åsdam — Kunsthalle Bern, Bern
    2000 — Knut Asdam — notes towards a dissipation of desire — The Museum of Contemporary Art / Museet for samtidskunst, Oslo

    Selected group exhibitions:
    2010 — Liverpool Biennial 10 — Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Liverpool (England)
    2004 — Busan Biennale 2004 — The Busan Biennale, Busan
    1999 — 48th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale / Biennale di Venezia — La Biennale di Venezia, Venice

2010,  24 min.
Alter///scrinium. 10 Theses Of The Architecture. Screening Part

Courtesy of Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona; Galleri SE, Bergen; Gasser & Grunert, NYC; Serge Le Borgne, Cent-8, Paris

In 1966 one of the greatest architects of the XX century Oscar Niemeyer created a project of international market in Lebanese Tripoli. The ambitious project was to become a synthesis of traditional Middle-East public space and late modernist architecture, sometimes called expressionism. The project remained unfinished because of the Lebanese Civil War of 1975; they managed to construct only the carcass of the building that in that time was used as ammunition store, military helicopters landing pad and other military purposes. The project became monumental unofficial symbol of tragic events in the modern history of Lebanon, civil discord that is still in progress.

Tripoli movie made by a Norwegian photographer and moviemaker Knut Asdam has Niemeyer’s unfinished project as a key research object. Using aesthetisized long plans and certain mystics of narration, the author shoots a “lifeless body” of the complex to reveal political side of architecture, its social meaning. Deserted squares and buildings, that the complex consists of, are a metaphorical archive of the Civil War events. Against this depressive landscape we hear a bit absurd dialogs of actors who wander around these unfinished spaces like ghosts in a search of something unknown. This narration is quite paradoxical since it has a controversial situation planned in advance; movie characters find themselves in the territory of lost memory where they are left with their deepest concerns. Psychological crisis and permanent frustration that fill deceivingly limited space of shot refer to a complex state of the collective body that is disoriented and unable to find their guiding lights of historical development.