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"Are you comfortable?" a voice says from off frame.The 20-minute video "12," 2015, by Mohamed Berro recounts a little-known tale from Lebanon's recent history.Combining a compelling, emotionally fraught tale with a formal approach that's fittingly restrained – in both emotional terms and duration – "12" is a successful work for Berro (b. 1989).One of nine short- to medium-length works newly commissioned by Ashkal Alwan, the Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, "12" screened in its yearly Video Works program, projected over three nights at Metropolis Cinema Sofil. Berro is the youngest of Video Works' stable of 2015 contributors but none of these 10 artists is exactly geriatric. It also suggests how a poor person's dodgy emigration history can compel the U.S. justice system to deem her an untrustworthy witness against an IMF head.The artist names neither this figure nor the woman he was accused of having assaulted but a quick Google search will recall the sordid tale. Video Works also includes two intimate and amusing autobiographical works by a pair of artists who are much in demand nowadays. For more information on Video Works, see: http://ashkalalwan.org/events/video-works-2015/.
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