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Roy Samaha

Artist in residence, Stockholm, 22 November 2023 – 25 February 2024

Roy Samaha is a Lebanese artist residing in Beirut. His videos have been featured in various film festivals and contemporary art exhibitions worldwide since 2002. His research focuses on electronic media in correlation with altered states of perception, along with a fascination for anthropological studies and accounts of shamanistic rituals and aesthetics. From 1998 to 2008, he worked in the broadcasting and news industry, utilising these experiences to explore the boundaries of cinematic language, the perception of reality, and the memory of personal objects.

Roy Samaha

During his residency at IASPIS, he will finalise his ongoing project LEGACY//Premonition//, a retrospective video diary examining 2019. This was the year that concluded the century and everything as we knew it, marking a transition into the “Great Reset.” It was the year we became stuck after completing all cycles of simulations of the twentieth century, departing from history and entering a precarious existential state of possibilities towards the hyper-real, following the digitisation and absorption of everything by the real itself. Partly based on an adaptation of an early 20th-century futuristic theatre play by Karel Čapek entitled “R.U.R.” (1920), the work reflects on the magnitude of banal daily activities in a post-apocalyptic era, where we merely perform social rituals in the world of trans-genetics and hyper-utilitarians.

Samaha received his MA in film studies at USEK, Lebanon (2007). Selected festivals and exhibitions include: the 17th Istanbul Biennale, Disobedience Archive, Istanbul (2022); “Hoptrasslade Historier,” Skanstull, Stockholm (2020); Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (2020); Toronto International Film Festival, Wavelengths (2019); Oberhausen Short Film Festival (2019); Cycles of Collapsing Progress, BeMA, Tripoli (2018); Space Edits, Beirut Art Center (2017); Sharjah Biennale 13, Sharjah Art Foundation (2017); Too Early Too Late, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna (2015); Disobedience Archive, Castello di Rivoli, Torino (2013); Bildmuseet, Umeå (2013); Image Counter Image, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2013); Affinités, Déchirures & Attractions, Frac, Alsace (2013); International Film Festival Rotterdam (2012); 1st International Singapore Biennale (2006); Formidable Beyrouth! Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Genève (2004); 14th International Festival for Electronic Arts: Videobrazil, Sao Paulo (2003); Home Works 2, Forum on Cultural Practices, Beirut (2002).