Film: Foyer by Ismail Bahri

Foyer (2016, 32’)

A white piece of paper, a camera and daylight are the central protagonists of Tunisian filmmaker Ismaïl Bahri’s Foyer. Constructed around a simple filmic exercise- to walk around the streets of Tunis and capture, through a white piece of paper placed over the camera’s lens, the changing quality of light- the film soon takes on a life of its own through chance encounters with passersby. Conversations meander around the challenges of daily life in the city, the nature of filmmaking itself, and the tensions between those who remained and those who were able to build a life elsewhere, producing a film that is at once a portrait of a place in time, as well as a poetic mediation on the art of cinema.

Ismail Bahri (b.1978). Lives and works in Paris, France and Tunis, Tunisia.

Working mostly in video, as well as in drawing, photography and installation, the central premise of Bahri’s works are always simple gestures, that when observed closely, open up to wider meanings and relationships.  He has had exhibitions at Jeu de Paume (Paris), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Staatliche Kunsthalle (Karlsruhe), Kunst Im Tunnel (Düsseldorf), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), among others. His films have been selected at international film festivals such as TIFF (Toronto), NYFF (New york), IFFR (Rotterdam),  and FID (Marseille).