Inspired by the 1930s Dakar-Djibouti mission — the ambitious French ethnographic expedition — the first narrative feature by French artist and filmmaker Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc is preceded by French-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada’s portrait of the elaborate fossil industry in Morocco.
Sector IX B (Secteur IX B) Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, France/Senegal North American Premiere, 42 minutes
Taking inspiration from L’Afrique fantôme — the controversial diary by surrealist writer Michel Leiris recounting his participation in the ambitious French ethnographic expedition of the 1930s to Dakar and Djibouti — Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc’s arresting first feature reflects on identity, cultural appropriation, and the transference of memory though objects.
Faux Départ (False Start) Yto Barrada, Morocco/USA North American Premiere, 23 minutes
The latest film by French-Moroccan artist Yto Barrada observes the elaborate fossil industry in Morocco. Paying homage to the “preparators” in the arid region between the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, whose intrepid work is fuelling a thriving trade in artifacts real, faux and hybrid, False Start is a rebuke to the fetishistic thirst for foreign objects, a sly meditation on authenticity, and a paean to creativity.