Naeem Mohaiemen uses films, photographs, and essays to explore the histories of failed utopias within the framework of international left-wing politics. In conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition of the artist’s acclaimed three-channel installation Two Meetings and a Funeral, Mohaiemen presents United Red Army (The Young Man Was, Part I), which traces the events and aftermath of the Japanese Red Army’s (JRA) hijacking of Japan Airlines flight 472 in 1977. The JRA, which sought to unite the Third World through armed revolution, forced the plane to land in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and made its demands during a five-day standoff broadcast on television. Mohaiemen combines the original sound recordings of the hostage negotiations with text on black screen to underscore the event’s political and interpersonal tensions. At the same time, he recounts his own experience watching the television spectacle as an eight-year old boy and meditates on the event’s complex reverberations across the globe.
2011, Naeem Mohaiemen, Bangladesh/Japan, DCP, 70 minutes followed by discussion
Naeem Mohaiemen in person
Presented in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the exhibition Naeem Mohaiemen: Two Meetings and a Funeral
Naeem Mohaiemen is an artist and scholar. His work has shown at Tate Britain, London (2014), Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece (2017); Mahmoud Darwish Foundation and Museum, Ramallah, Palestine (2017); MoMA, New York (2017); 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2014); and Sharjah Biennial 10, United Arab Emirates (2011) among many others. His essays have appeared in The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (NYU Press); Assuming Boycott (OR Books); Occupy (B3 Verlag), and Sound Unbound (MIT Press) among others. He co-curated, with Lorenzo Fusi, System Error: War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Palazzo Papesse, Siena, Italy. He was a 2014 Guggenheim fellow and a 2018 Turner Prize nominee.