Mijn inbreker en ik
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In theatre, literature, cinema and the visual arts, people regularly make works in which fiction and reality are deliberately mixed together. This is also the case in ‘Mijn inbreker en ik’ ('My Burglar and I') by Kaweh Modiri. The story and the characters from a (fictional) novel in the making, the ‘true’ story of a burglary, and a film script become caught up into an inextricable tangle.
In a dry voice-over, Kaweh Modiri tells a story that, as with a book, unfolds in various chapters. The beginning is simple and straightforward: Modiri dryly tells us about the theft of his laptop, from his own home of all places. But the roles of the perpetrator and the victim gradually become reversed when Modiri gets to know his burglar and identifies him as Om…r, the new protagonist in his novel, which is currently causing him writer's block. He becomes obsessed with Omar, and conceives all manner of tricks to get in touch with him. Their lives become entangled. For example, Omar wants to study at the same art-school department as that from which Kaweh Modiri is graduating: Image and Language at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. All the time, the story finds itself on a thin line between documentary and mockumentary.
In ‘My Burglar and I’ the artist applies the same tactics as in today’s popular American police series, which, although completely fictitious, reproduce all the ‘facts’ precisely, such as times, names, places, and hour of the day. Moreover, the influence of reality TV is also unmistakable. He simply mixes all manner of techniques - found footage, home videos, styled and staged images, candid camera – to depict the story. Incidentally, the film is also an acute and humorous parody on the tricky topical question of ‘the Moroccans’ in the Netherlands.
Netherlands Media Art Institute, Nanda Janssen Read more...