6 January – 3 March 2023
MattFlix is pleased to present Propane, a new video by Zein Majali.
Propane is a collage: a patchwork of digital renders, social media trash, archival and AI footage set to a soundscape of pop music and ASMR. Viewed through the eyes of the eternal and neutralized ‘young girl’, Propane explores the fetishistic power dynamics of Western intervention in the Middle East over the past 100 years, almost to the day. Through Charli XCX and Azaelia Banks vocal samples the work alludes to speed, riffing on the accelerated growth that has taken place in the region since then, exacerbated in recent years by the deterritorializing forces of the internet.
Depicting major political players, e-girls, cyber aberrations, places and non-places, Propane jumps in time. Moving from the creation of Jordan after the British promised and then robbed Arab independence from the Ottomans, the film grapples with ideas of inorganic disruption and “insufficiently imagined nations.” The digital artefact of buffering functions as an analogy of something in a state of becoming.
Music, editing and 3D work by Zein Majali
Creative Consultant: Dana Dawud
Special thanks to Amal Ghandour, Tiqqun and YouTuber Saieda Charmotta, whose work influenced the research and creation of this video.
Commissioned by Matt’s Gallery for MattFlix, with support from ArtFund.