“I’m not supposed to speak to strangers, but we’ve met before”, 2011 from the series: “Once Upon A Time” by Julia Murakami, Alu-Dibond, lambda print under acrylic glass, 19.2 x 27.6 inch

Directors Lounge at the  Contemporary Art Ruhr (C.A.R.) , World Heritage Site Zollverein

The Zollverein World Heritage Site – also known as “the world’s most beautiful coal mine” – today the most famous industrial monument and centre of the creative industry in the Ruhr area.

Building A12, Directors Lounge, Berlin with Ina Otzko, D. Kimm & Brigitte Henry, Marie Losier, Julia Murakami, Alexei Dmitriev, Guy Maddin, Coleman Miller, Alan Smithee, Triny Prada, Fabiana Roscioli, André Werner, Clint Enns, Usama Alshaibi and others …


contemporary art ruhr 2011, the innovative art fair

Zollverein XII World Heritage Site building A2, A6, A5, A12, A 7/ red dot design museum, outdoor area

official opening
Fri, 28 October 2011, 8 p.m. at Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen, V.I.P.-Preview: 6 p.m.

public fair days
Sat, 29 October 2011, 12 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sun, 30 October 2011, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Zollverein XII World Heritage Site
Gelsenkirchener Straße 181
45309 Essen, Germany

day ticket
12,- € / 10,-€


shown at DL 2011

Psychedelic film as a genre is a slippery slope to walk across where making a bad decision can thrust a project helplessly into cliché. Often filmmakers fail under the decoy of video “Op-Art” which is easy and anyone who’s sat in front of an editing program with a bag of grass can tell you that it only takes five minutes to make. Good psychedelic film and video is sensual and has a narrative or a point or a purpose that fulfils a desire to the brink of madness. It’s not always pretty and often flirts with being uncomfortable. It’s about overwhelming the senses with spiritual and emotional subtext connecting dots between existentialism and essentialism through figurative micropsiac and macropsiac lenses simultaneously. If you can do that then it’s possible to make a good psychedelic film. Usama Alshaibi is one of those few capable people.

Profane is very smart and confident and honest. The film bounces between consonance and dissonance in an algorithm typically reserved for musical composition. The first melody is the camera work: at times annoying and at others intensely beautiful but always expertly edited. The second melody is the characterizations: The most notable actor being Dejan Mircea, I could have met him in real life. He keeps the film from falling into cliché with a convincing performance that makes one want to take him away from the mean messed-up girls and go have a nice conversation somewhere more calm. He’s an intelligent person who is interesting to listen to. One would feel instantly at ease in his presence. When this character speaks you forget that you are watching video and that this is a psychedelic film. Molly Plunk plays a character so erratic it would be worth seeing her play something totally opposite in another film to find the range of her colour. She has a brilliantly awkward moment toward the end sitting tied up naked in front of an Imam. Manal Kara plays a beautiful young woman with the daunting task of maintaining balance between the two aforementioned characters, her desires, and a character no one can see. Her final scene played the perfect chord to end this allegory. The third melody is the soundtrack: very rarely do I ever feel that independent film puts enough effort into the score but this was a strikingly poetic matchup. The three melodies would scatter apart into chaos for a good deal of the time and then coalesce into deeply beautiful moments of heightened reality. This is the kind of film I came out thankful for seeing and it belongs in the dvd collection of anyone who truly appreciates experimental and psychedelic filmmaking.

I saw this film at the Director’s Lounge on Christinenstraße 18 in Berlin Mitte. It’s a nice sized space for showing work. They also offer good wine instead of the typical cheap crap that turns the stomach sour after a glass offered in 99% of other artist spaces. Anyone who likes wine will happily pay the extra Euro for a glass of something drinkable! It’s also a very friendly environment where people smile at each other and speak freely. I must get to know these people better!

Ceven Knowles


SUN 13th 10pm | PROFANE | Usama Alshaibi US 2010 | European Premiere

starring Manal Kara, Molly Plunk & Dejan Mircea  

Profane is a feature length motion picture about a young Muslim Pro Domme in
the midst of a spiritual crisis. It explores the idea of submission from a religious,
psychological and sexual perspective. It is also a horror film about possession by a jinn. Jinn are the Islamic equivalent of demons. According to the Quran, Allah (God) created humans from clay, angels from light and jinn from smokeless fire. They are equally good and evil, and it is said that each of us has one of our own.
Profane is an inverted exorcism. The main character, Muna, has lost her jinn and is trying to bring it back into herself in order to feel whole again. She also
struggles to understand the culture and religion from which she has been
alienated. In the meantime, she journeys through a maze of indulgence, excess, and altered reality to find that her true self has been whispering to her all along.

Filmmaker Usama Alshaibi  is known for two things: his award winning skill as a documentarian on one hand, and darkly sexy, sometimes disturbing experimental films on the other. His latest endeavor, Profane, tackles dangerous territory in the fictional realm. Combining his flair for the moody audio-visual explorations of his characterʼs inner worlds and the no-nonsense intimacy of the interview, he is able to makes sense of a young womanʼs spiritual emergency.
His exploration of the lesser-known aspects of Islam is irreverent and defiant of
both tradition and stereotype. In one scene Muna observantly covers her head in the hijab, while leaving the rest of her body nearly naked. It begs the question, if God himself is the only one watching, and one is accustomed to being nude in front of strangers, then why couldnʼt a bra and panties constitute sincere modesty?
Profane is a never-before-seen collision of Middle Eastern mythology and
western pop culture. It draws inspiration from horror films, psychedelic cinema,
and documentation of real Islamic exorcisms. The director is also influenced by
events in his own childhood. After escaping the trauma of war in Iraq in the 5th
grade, Alshaibi experienced life in Saudi Arabia. There he lived in fear as
teachers beat him with rulers and rubber hoses for his inability to recite the

the story

Through interviews, we find out that Muna has been alienated from her culture and abused within her religion. Her behavior as a teen became an embarrassment to her parents, prompting exorcisms while in the Middle East and several self-imposed exiles to the United States throughout her young life. Her audacious nature and promiscuous appetites lead her into sex work and
exploring the more illicit pastimes of young Americans. Within her adopted
environment she lost her sense of identity and even her language.
As we watch Munaʼs day-to-day life we are made privy to her sincere desire to
return to Islam, through prayer and attempting to read the Qurʼan. We
experience the subsequent supernatural events – real or imagined – that take
place as a result. We hear what Muna hears, though no one else in her world
seems to believe or understand whatʼs going on. They go on partying, paying
little attention to her affliction, which is indistinguishable from drug-induced
As an audience we follow Muna as she tries to reconcile her own very liberal
sensibilities with a stricter more dogmatic moral code imposed by fellow Muslims. In one pivotal scene after having befriended a cab driver named Ali, he offers to help her learn to read the Qurʼan. He appears one morning at her home flanked by a young Muslim Imam (religious leader). Muna and her best friend Mary have been up late frolicking in carnal and chemical exploration. The Imamʼs disgust with she and her friendʼs lack of decorum angers Muna and triggers her rage at past prejudices and abuses.
Sheʼs not about to give up her identity for her religion. She just wants to be
closer to God, and to know her own roots. This conflict is made manifest in the
Jinn. This troublesome invisible demon emerges from Muna as she struggles to
reconcile two seemingly incompatible sides to her personality. Itʼs only by
reintegrating with her personal mischievous spirit that she is able to feel whole
once again.

Usama Alshaibi US Profane 79min 2010

exact screening time might be subject to change

Here´s giving you a sneak peek into our May screening, Fri 7th at the Meinblau.

Friends & Lovers, curated by Alexei Dmitriev and Andre Werner is a shameless biased selection of personal favorites. “There is a bunch of folks who’s films we find great and whom we then met in person and found them great too. It’s a gang. It’s a family. That’s what "Friends & Lovers” are about.“ A. D.

Featuring Usama Alshaibi, Thorsten Fleisch, Masha Godovannaya, Jean-Gabriel Periot, Keith Sanborn and Zhen Chen Liu, just to name a few.

The screening will be followed by an audiovisual concert of Bedroom Bear.

Bedroom Bear — a solo project of Sergei Dmitriev  — dreamy and thoughtful
new new age made with only hardware devices from Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Combining psych folk aesthetics with melodious lo-fi, he recreates the
scent of Karelian forests.

Fri May 7th, Meinblau, Pfefferberg

doors open at 8pm, screening starts at 9pm

please be on time

p.s. Don´t miss tomorrow´s show (Thurs, 29th April )  Yaron Lapid “Times of Change” DL base