“The Mountain is first of all a mass that dominates us, and through its shape it is the keeper of unknown secrets. It is another world within our world; and the mountain is untamable. The gods and demons that haunt its topology laugh at our attempts to attack it because, as in every endeavor, it is not the result of an action that matters most, but how the plan is conceived and, as in every journey, one must be prepared and one must have a clear goal in mind, along with the means to approach it."
- From the essay, Fear by Simon Njami (English translation by Marwan Bassiouni), 2017.
Meem Gallery, Dubai, in collaboration with GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana presents Moataz Nasr’s The Mountain. Last seen as part of an immersive, multi-sensory experience in the Egyptian pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, the 12-minute film marks the artist’s inaugural foray into filmmaking. A powerful parable about the consequences of fear and inaction, set in rural Upper Egypt, the film is made up of 58 minutes of footage, shown across five screens.
The Mountain follows Zein, a young girl who leaves her isolated village to continue her studies. Returning years later as an educated, worldly woman, she challenges the deep-set superstitions and conventions of her village by flouting the authority of the disapproving local elders. Addressing the abiding and universal conflict between enlightened youth and the conservative establishment, Nasr uses the mountain as a metaphor for triumph over of the village ‘demon’ (fear) which lives on top of the mountain and terrorises the villagers after sunset.
Despite its simple, rural setting, this story, which demonstrates the collective, paralysing fear that breeds inaction and hinders the possibility of progress, can be applied universally. Dedicated to the artist’s three daughters, The Mountain also delivers a distinctly feminist message about the bravery of women who challenge the status quo.
Born in Alexandria in 1961, Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr explores traditions and new globalism, questioning geopolitical and social development in the Middle East and Africa. The artist uses his artistic practice, which spans a diverse variety of media, as a language that embraces sociology, spirituality and history in order to encourage dialogue across geographical boundaries. His work has been widely exhibited across Europe, America, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
Screen timings at Meem Gallery, Umm Suqiem Road: 11:00 - 12:00, 14:00 - 15:00 and 16:00 - 17:00.
Please call Meem Gallery on 04 3477883 for availability.