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LARISSA SANSOUR, In Vitro, 2019, stills from two-channel black-and-white film created in collaboration with Søren Lind: 27 min 44 sec. Courtesy the artists.
LARISSA SANSOUR, In Vitro, 2019, stills from two-channel black-and-white film created in collaboration with Søren Lind: 27 min 44 sec. Courtesy the artists.
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In Depth

A horrifying deluge of oil-black liquid courses through narrow stone streets; it pours into the sacred interior of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. A mother runs into her stone house, grabs her daughter, and they flee their neighborhood as billows of smoke fill the skyline behind them. These scenes appear as flashbacks throughout Larissa Sansour’s two-channel, black-and-white film In Vitro (2019), co-directed with Søren Lind, and presented in the Denmark Pavilion, “Heirloom,” at the 58th Venice Biennale. The woman who is experiencing these memories is named Alia (Maisa Abd Elhadi) and she is a clone of the daughter seen in the flashbacks. She lives in an underground orchard city where the survivors took refuge; when she visits a gigantic black orb she experiences memories from before the catastrophe of a place she herself has never been to. The mother, Dunia (Hiam Abbass), lies in a hospital bed in a brutalist concrete interior, waiting for the day when they can return above ground. 

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