Agency from Beyond the Grave: A Case study of the Documentary and Dramatic aspects of Rabih Mroué’s Pixelated Revolution

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  • Peter Ole Pedersen, Danmark
The article I want to contribute to the second part of your anthology revolves around a case study of the Lebanese artist and actor Rabih Mroué’s documentary-based installation The Pixelated Revolution from 2012. The work is based on the net-distributed videos recorded by sniper victims during the Syrian Civil War.
These clips share a profound and elusive quality that Mroué tries to identify by translating the original recordings into different media, reenacting the missing part of these murder scenes (the view of the killer) and even conducting a lecture on the subject, which is included as part of the complete installation. This material transformation of the original footage puts the viewer in contrasting positions as witness, investigator and even symbolically perpetrator or victim. As indicated The Pixelated Revolution is a complex media – and meta – analytical installation that challenges our conception of “victim” and “agent”, since the original documentations and their aftermath are part of both a global information network and an art installation. This poses questions of how human rights are treated and reacted upon in a media-saturated world and what becomes the cultural afterlife of catastrophes, like in this case civil war captured on the mobile phone.
Following a critical analysis of the particular historical situation in Syria, I approach the work from a genre and cross-media perspective, since a central part of Mroué’s strategy consists of migrating the film documentation to other media.This calls for a comprehensive model for analyzing and understanding the expressions and use of factual evidence that are simultaneously present in contemporary documentary works. As a conclusion to the article, I therefore attempt a paraphrasing of art theoretician Rosalind Krauss’ renowned Sculpture in the Expanded Field as a model for analyzing the cultural framework of documentary
Bidragets oversatte titelDokumentar i et udvidet felt
TitelDiscursive Framings of Human Rights : Negotiating Agency and Victimhood
RedaktørerKaren-Margrethe Simonsen, Jonas Ross Kjærgaard
Antal sider14
UdgivelsesstedAbingdin/New York
Udgivelsesår30 aug. 2016
ISBN (trykt)9781138944503
ISBN (Elektronisk)978315671857
StatusUdgivet - 30 aug. 2016


  • Human Rights, Art History, Documentary, victim positioning

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