“On the 5th of september 2001, the taliban confiscated thousands of reels of film from the Afghan Film Archive and burned them on the outskirts of Kabul. People says the fire lated 15 days. But the Taliban didn’t know they were mostly given film print copies, which can be replaced and not the original negatives, wich cannot”
Alÿs‘ film REEL / UNREEL derives from the artist’s interest in children games. The title alludes both to the real/unreal image of Afghanistan conveyed by Western media (which tend to dehumanize and turn it into a Western fiction) and to the reel as the film rolled around the street of Kabul by the children playing the “wheel and stick” classic game.
The film is accompanied by postcards-size studies in the tradition of war-related art. The artist intention is to “explore how wartime conditions may alter artists’ perceptions and output”
REEL – UNREEL
Kabul, Afghanistan 2011
In collaboration with Julien Devaux and Ajmal Maiwandi
REEL-UNREEL belongs to Alÿs’ Public Domain videos, freely downloadable (but not to be altered) as long as the authorship is credited. Download this video here.