Wonders of the Moon - A Thousand Years of Sleepwalking
Exhibited in TEN SLOTTE 5 by Out Of Sight, Antwerp December 2021
Grounded on artistic research in medieval cosmologies, Wonders of the Moon - A Thousand Years of Sleepwalking is a video-installation imagined to be a lunar montage machine to render a series of misplaced narratives of shape-shifting and delirious figures in the middle ages from West Asia, a cabinet of curiosities that is dealing with the dark. It consists of figures, associations, atmospheres, and imageries that are inspired by the speculative science of bestiaries, a premodern world of horror-wonder literature. Bestiaries are medieval practices of description that were preoccupied with the monsters, marvels, and irregularities of the nature, encompassing a wider poetics of Muslim imaginal ecological consciousness.
We close our eyes in order to simulate (and make ourselves available to) the time of darkness: a phenomenological atmospheric attuning to an entirely anonymous, indifferent, and inhuman nature of the cosmos. Dark has been both the medium of worship and of deviation. It is where the forgetter (the conspirator), the sleepwalker (the associator), the eraser (the sorcerer), and the smuggler (the polluter) are active. It is the time when they are at work. After-dark is the underground of time, as Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, the philosopher of deception and masks, proposes. It is where something other and something horror can happen. In crossing the dark, certain figures (shadow, moon, jinn, nature, God) of the premodern Indo-Persian world dissolve into familiar shapes and have a dynamic of disruptive presence within human world.