Ash Moniz is a Cairo-based multi-disciplinary artist working primarily between the realms of performance, video, installation, and film. They focus on real-abstractions, material geographies and constitutions of time that are shaped by supply chain logistics. Moniz has exhibited in solo shows such as Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Sishang Museum (Beijing), and in group shows such as Sheﬃeld DocFest, Berlinale Film Festival, Dakar Biennale. They were recently an artist in residence at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (Innsbruck), and are currently at the Maritime Portal Residency with Times Museum (Guangzhou).
To Be Inconvenienced
Double-channel video installation, 24′
Supported by Canada Council for the Arts, and Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen
To be Inconvenienced (working title), is a double-channel film that creates a fictional world based on the laws and phenomena that allow for the extra-national exception of maritime labour exploitation. It looks at the UNCLOS declaration that all vessels on the high seas must be considered national territory, focusing on how reflections and negations (of land – sea and state – non-state), create jurisdictional loopholes and paradoxes. It weaves together abstract vignettes and sequences, in which sea-based situations take place on land, and in its reflection. These terraqueously displaced situations, were written in collaboration with legal professionals and academics in the fields of maritime labour. This film asks what it is about the materiality of water/earth that denote ontologies of statehood or universalism, within an economy (where 95% of all goods travel by sea, hence through loopholes of labour-law) who’s unenforceability relies on these material distinctions as a scapegoat for this labour exploitation.
Supported by Ontario Council for the Arts
This project is based around the new shipping route proposed by Maersk that would pass through the North Pole (taking advantage of the space created by the melting ice caps), which was proposed specifically to avoid the “risk” that has come to define the Suez Canal passageway. The speculatively staged fiction of the opening ceremony for the new shipping route (with historical artifacts from the Suez Canal installed on a vast frozen body of water), looks at the role that risk and preemptive possibilities play in shipping and speculative securitization. The work creates a trajectory between sets of relations: eg, insurance documents that are produced by a company that makes fake snow for film sets, and the melting Arctic snow that allows for Maersk’s route. These artifacts abstractly narrate the Brilliant Virtuoso, a ship who staged its own highjacking and set itself on fire, as a way of obtaining insurance money.