Lara Baladi’s “Be Realistic, Ask for the Impossible”

Vox Populi: an Interactive Timeline of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and its Aftermath. Web based project by Lara Baladi, ongoing since 2011.
ACT at MIT

ACT Lecturer Lara Baladi‘s new installation, “Be Realistic, Ask for the Impossible,” is being shown as part of the exhibition “Affect Me. Social Media Images in Art.” This show at KAI10 | Arthena Foundation in Dusseldorf, Germany, curated by Julia Höner and Kerstin Schankweiler, also features the works of Irene Chabr, Forensic Architecture, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Thomas Hirschon, Randa Maroufi, Rabih Mrouhé, and Thomas Ruff.

Lara Baladi is an Egyptian-Lebanese artist internationally recognized for her multidisciplinary work. In her investigations into myths, archives, personal histories, and socio-political narratives, Baladi makes use of a wide range of mediums, including photography, video, sound, and new technologies. Her work ranges from immersive video, sound and/or multi-media installations, to architectural spaces, collages, sculptures, tapestries, and perfume.

Displaying a timeline of events traversing from BC until today, “Be Realistic, Ask for the Impossible” is anchored in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and its aftermath. The multimedia installation attempts to find the historic correlation between this uprising and other similar instances through a wide range of iconic and archetypal data including images, texts, poetry, and more.

“Be Realistic, Ask for the Impossible” identifies paradigms of repetition and reoccurrence that connect emblematic moments throughout transperiodic and transnational episodes in history, while preserving a diverse collection of online material produced during the revolution.

Looking at the patterns through which revolutions are ignited, Baladi explores ways to preserve history in the digital age, in a manner that  grants durability to protest-related data  produced by civil society, and make them permanently accessible to the general public.

The exhibition runs from November 11th, 2017 – March 10th 2018, with an opening reception on Friday, November 10th at 7pm.