Open City Documentary Festival

Meta Incognita by Alia Syed at Mimosa House

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Alia Syed, Meta Incognita
Wed 1st –  Sat 11th September, 12pm-6pm (except Sun 5th Sept)

Mimosa House, 47 Theobalds Rd, London, WC1X 8SP

Free entry

As part of our programme “In Focus: Alia Syed”, the first UK retrospective of work by British artist Alia Syed, we’d like to invite you to join us for the exhibition of Meta Incognita at Mimosa House in London.

Meta Incognita: Missive II is the second part of a triptych of films that utilises different histories while focusing upon recognizable locations along and within the River Thames: from Millbank Prison (now the site of Tate Britain) to Second World War architecture on the Essex coastline. Linking places as far flung as the Canadian Northwest Passage and a cellular prison in the Andaman Islands, the three Missives create an extended narrative recited by the female captain of a ship returning to the Thames from the Canadian Arctic. Meta Incognita: Missive II is based on the exploits of the Elizabethan privateer turned explorer Martin Frobisher, who repeatedly sailed to the Canadian Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. Set in a future where global warming has opened the Northwest Passage to heavy/commercial/trans-continental cargo trade, the narrative follows a renegade ship’s captain who has undertaken a commission to smuggle the last remnants of an unspecified natural resource. The film consists of two shots, sunset and sunrise, filmed off the Essex coast at the mouth of the Thames, on a Public Right of Way called the Broomway, which was until the 1930s the only way onto Foulness Island from the mainland. Meta Incognita was included in the exhibition Migrating Worlds: The Art of Moving Image in Britain in 2019 at the Yale Center for British Art and is presented for the first time in London.

Mimosa House is an independent, non-profit art institution in the heart of London curated by Daria Khan. Dedicated to artistic experimentation and collaboration, Mimosa House supports dialogue between intergenerational women and queer artists. Embracing inclusivity and sensitivity, Mimosa House is a safe and empowering space which focuses on the fluidity of identity and recognises the need for change.

Click here to learn more about Alia Syed’s retrospective at Open City Documentary Festival, with screenings also taking place at Genesis Cinema and ICA London.

Image credit: Alia Syed, Meta Incognita: Missive II. Courtesy of Alia Syed and LUX, London.