Rabih Mroué. Shooting Images

Shooting Images, 2012
video, 9’14”

video courtesy the artist 

Shooting Images (2012) is a video by RABIH MROUÉ who is currently having a solo exhibition at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, France. MROUÉ is best known for his videos, lecture-performances and installations that explore the relationship between lived experience and representation, fact and fiction and interrogate the space between political reality and memory.

The video presented above, which is part of the exhibition in Mulhouse, shows the performative reenactment of an existing 83-second YouTube video that the Lebanese artist calls ‘Double Shooting‘ and which depicts a Syrian regime sniper aiming his rifle at the cameraman and shooting.

By reconstructing the original cellphone video and then dissecting the document in an extreme way, RABIH MROUÉ offers a fascinating re-reading of the images that have been recorded during the Syrian revolution but also demonstrates a failed attempt to catch the last image perceived by the deceased person.

I’m not the one who recorded or produced them. And this came out of my belief that it’s now very difficult for artists to produce images, especially with the glut of imagery in the media. The question seems simple enough: What images can artists produce and is it possible to confront these images that we receive every day with yet more images that we produce? These are the questions that I pose in many of my works. And I agree with some intellectuals that maybe the role of artists and even intellectuals is not to produce images but to take iconic images and try to deconstruct them. To ‘de-sacralize’ them. (…) As in the media or on the Internet, there are millions of images that come to us every day but only some become famous and a model and are followed by other images and videos. And they become iconic and get used by all political positions and in various different discourses. My work is trying not to produce new images but to find and take these images and deconstruct them through reflection and by re-reading them in a human, personalized manner. – RABIH MROUÉ in conversation with ANTHONY DOWNEY, January 2012

Mediterranean Sea by RABIH MROUÉ is on view at Kunsthalle Mulhouse until November 15, 2015


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