The Great Unmade: Two New Books For You

Omar Kholief and I have both written new books.

He a novella called Jeddah Childhood circa 1994 and myself, an exhibition tie-in called Virgin With a Memory inspired by cheap novelisations of films (ahem) and John Boorman’s classic production diary Money Into Light.

The two tomes are being paired together at Cornerhouse Manchester for 7 Quids and 95 Pences. Also buyable on Amazon but if you can avoid, buy direct from Cornerhouse or your more discerning art book store.

I’ve included below some preview pages for your mulling.

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 09.10.07 Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 09.09.09 Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 09.08.47And for context, I republish the foreword.

The Great Unmade

There is something you need to know before reading this book: i am not a reliable narrator.

The lines of my old diary entries are muddled with the thoughts of this story’s mute heroine, Suad. Even i can hardly tell the difference any more.

We were like sisters, bound back-to-back, locked in states of struggle with our respective realities. Where Suad let misandry drive her to violence in the libretto of this project (Beretta), somewhere during the three-year march towards getting the film made i also allowed anger at the system to usurp my objectives.

So i hope you take this for what it is: a small act of de-mystification, a window on to the occulted world of creative production with a view to exposing the complex panopticon of economics and politics that a person must exist in (and in spite of) to make work at a certain scale today.

Like watching a double-feature of les Blank’s Burden of Dreams and Werner herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, Virgin With A Memory: The Exhibition Tie-In is a miasma of mendacity.

i say this because i believe that telling the truth is impossible and that all cinema, especially documentary, is fiction.

From the moment you frame-up, it is one worm’s-eye view. And this is mine.

Sophia al-Maria

Odessa, Ukraine 10 July 2014

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