Runa Islam

Runa Islam @ MoMA

Runa Islam. Emergence. 2011. 35mm film (color, silent), 2:54 min.

A beautiful show of 4 film installations. Formal, almost painterly, textured films. But not all still and hushed—Some really wild camera work and editing in the piece filmed at Stromboli.

—VF

Runa Islam. Magical Consciousness. 2010. 16mm film (black-and-white film, silent), 8:22. Commissioned by Museum Contemporary Art, Sydney, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Courtesy the artist and White Cube

Projects 95: Runa Islam

May 27–September 19, 2011

British artist Runa Islam (b. 1970, Dhaka, Bangladesh) primarily works in film and video. Ostensibly austere and minimal, her works are marked by a rigorous logic of conception but also a highly poetic style, and often involve the grammar of film—its languages of framing, panning, zooming, editing, and projection. For instance, for her film C I N E M A T O G R A P H Y (2007), Islam employed a motion-control camera that was used for the Lord of the Rings film trilogy to spell out “cinematography?” through camera movement, capturing the landscape and studio of a camera technician who had worked on the trilogy. Yet her films can also be playfully poetic and stunningly beautiful. For First Day of Spring (2005), which is in MoMA’s collection, Islam paid a group of Bangladeshi rickshaw operators to have a day of leisure in the middle of the public park, where she filmed them relaxing on their rickshaws under the shade of trees, calling into question the distinction between documentary and staged filmmaking. For Projects 95, Islam will produce a newly commissioned work.”

Can’t wait to see this show! I have been a fan ever since her piece at the Hammer in 2005 of a lady sneaking around fine china and nudging it off the tablecloth, crashing it to the ground.

—VF