Video Work by Amanda Beech on View at 14th Havana Biennial

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Map of the Bomb (2021), a video work by School of Critical Studies Dean Amanda Beech, is currently on view at the Habana Espacios Creativos in Havana as part of the city’s 14th biennial, running until Sunday, May 1. The hour-long five-channel installation features the talents of fellow CalArts alums and faculty. 

Map of the Bomb “constructs a dramatic plot” amid an immersive soundscape, scored by avant-garde composer and School of Music faculty Eyvind Kang. The cast features CalArts alums Cordelia Istel (Theater MFA 17) and Preston Butler III (Theater MFA 17), as well as Sany Baki and Milia Ayache. The installation was commissioned by the international research program Fieldwork: Marfa, and shot in Marfa, Texas; Los Angeles; and Beirut.

More about the work from Beech:

Four actors share one script in two time zones. They seek to understand what reality really is, for to know this is also to know the future. Each couple represents two opposing methods to do this: the hard facts of actual experience and the transcendental capture of seeing the world from above. Being in the world and beyond it, they seem to be caught in crisis and deadlock; but through the abstract field of music these differences collide and co-join to grasp a new code for reality …

Our estrangement from time and agency is painfully underscored in today’s crises of post truth politics and climate change catastrophe. But what if the “noise” we detect is actually just complex patterns, a schema that underlies all action and is yet to be discovered? What if … we could understand reality? This is the story of the transformation of the left …

Screencap of Map of the Bomb | Image courtesy of the artist

The curatorial project manifests a group show of artworks in Havana organized by author and artistic researcher Henk Slager, and includes work by Beech, Lara Almarcegui, Ursula Biemann, Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Gustafsson & Haapoja, Femke Herregraven, and Irene Kopelman. The show also constructs a two-year discursive project involving Havana-based artists and students, whose works respond to the current and historical politics of the city’s social and artistic climate while pondering the politics of the image and the question of futurity in general.

PUBLISHED BY Taya Zoormandan

As digital content and social media producer, Taya enjoys lifting up the stories and accomplishments of CalArts' students, alums, and faculty. She fancies herself a visual artist but is really more of an overzealous collector of art supplies.

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