Following a period of research on film sets where I have interviewed and filmed actors, scriptwriters and extras, I will invite extras to perform their favourite stars and their favourite roles. The project is concerned with incarnating a desire, however unachievable, to enter the cinema industry in Egypt and become a celebrity.
The extras are often the first audiences on set and the people who wait the most. They are actors but at the same time spectators. Often, they do not have the right 'looks' for the industry. The stereotypes of 'beauty' being very specific in the industry, extras are needed for their silent presence. In a star-based industry, however, the desire for celebrity becomes the main drive for a lot of people who try to achieve stardom through first becoming extras in films. Who are the extras? How do they function in the industry? What is their relationship to the stars?
Timeline for development of Project: the pre-production will start in June 2013.
About the artist
Marwa Arsanios is a visual artist based in Beirut, Lebanon. She completed her BA in Graphic Design from the Lebanese American University (2001), and obtained her MFA from Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London (2007). She has exhibited in London, Beirut, Athens, Oxford, Lisbon, Santiago de Chile, Rome and Damascus. Her work was shown at Art Dubai in the Bidoun Lounge (Art Park), at Forum Expanded at the Berlinale 2010, at the Homeworks V forum in Beirut and at Tokyo Wonder Site in Tokyo. Her videos have been screened at several festivals and events such as the Rio de Janeiro film festival in 2010, the e-flux storefront in New York, and most recently at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. She is a founding member of the artist organisation, and research and project space 98weeks, and one of the organisers of the travelling exhibition project Platform Translation.