m+k::untitled (the interesting narrative)

   

 

2000/2009

"Dangerous animals became even more sinister and uncanny in the dark. A snake was never called by its name at night, because it would hear. It was called a string."

Chinua Achebe--things fall apart

This project juxtaposes a remixed scene from the 1979 film Alien (by director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Dan O’Bannon) with text from Olaudah Equiano’s 1789 autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African. For the Hollywood film, an art student with a Nigerian name (Bolaji Badejo) was recruited to play the alien in an English pub. Ridley Scott alternately refers to him as Somali and Masai as he describes the unusual body needed for this role. In our remix, taken from the climax of the film, the protagonist has been extracted. What remains is only the repeating cycle of the struggling alien, who attempts to escape an attack while cramped in the spaceship’s bowels. This new assemblage is framed with the distorted diagram of an eighteenth century slaveship. We envision Boladji Badejo as a nexus between the Alien saga and Equiano’s real life epic.

Mendi + Keith Obadike