Time Levitation, Parasol Unit, London, 2020

Breathe In, Breathe Out, 2019

Breathe In, Breathe Out, 2019, follows the spiritual journey of a monk as he descends a mountain. His path is transformed by the metamorphoses of animals and plants mixed with architectural and mythical forms evoking the devastation of our natural environment in this era of globalisation. Rebet’s lm opens and closes with excerpts from ‘Théorie de la métamorphose’, a text by philosopher Emanuele Coccia which contributed to the research behind the animation. The film was originally produced as part of Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain’s Nomadic Nights programme for their exhibition, Trees, with the related drawings forming part of a performance.

Breathe In Breathe Out, 2019, Animation shot on HD, Sound 7:50 min, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby
Drawings from the series Breathe In,Breathe Out, 2019, Ink on paper, 40×30 cm ©Photo Benjamin Westaby

Thunderbird, 2018

Thunderbird recounts the story of an ancient legend of a temple commissioned by the Sumerian ruler Gudea and dedicated to the god Ningirsu and his avatar the Thunderbird. It was believed that the gods sent a divine vision to Gudea, a dream that inspired the building of the temple. In response to the destruction and pillage of the last major archaeological sites in the Middle East, Rebet animates this divine myth which was inscribed on some ancient terracotta pillars that were discovered in the region.

Currently the temple site is the eldwork venue for the British Museum’s ‘Iraq Scheme’, led by archaeologist Dr Sebastien Rey. Its mission is to train Iraqi archaeologists and international specialists in the techniques and technologies of rescue archaeology. Over the past several years Dr Rey and Rebet have fostered a dialogue, exchanging his research and her interpretations of the symbolic content of the temple artefacts. Text by Dr Rey appears in the nearby drawings.

Thunderbird, 2018, Animation shot on 16mm transferred to HD, sound 5:40 min New York, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby
Drawings from the series Thunderbird, 2018, Ink on paper, 57×49 cm, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby

In the Soldier’s Head, 2015

In the Soldier’s Head, 2015, is based on the story of Rebet’s own father who, having been a soldier in the Algerian War, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. It presents an intensely personal perspective on historical traumas and ows like the delusions conjured by a young soldier within an empty desert landscape. Rebet gives her viewer an intensely personal perspective on historical traumas, reinterpreted through the lands, bodies and minds that are subject to them. By connecting the subconscious with reality, the lm both re-animates the torment of her father’s repressed memories and responds to French society’s symptomatic denial of its colonial past.

In the Soldier’s Head, 2015, Animation shot on 16mm transferred to HD, sound 4:25 min, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby
Drawings from the series In the Soldier’s Head, 2013, Ink on paper, 40×30 cm, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby

The Square, 2011

Inspired by Samuel Beckett’s 1981 quadrilateral ballet Quad, Rebet created The Square, 2011, as a direct response to the collective protests and social unrest in public squares in Egypt and the Middle East during the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011. In Beckett’s original, 91⁄2-minute televised ballet, four dancers in coloured hoods move counter-clockwise along the sides and diagonals of a square, avoiding its centre. Beckett’s four performers are replaced here by di erent coloured powdered residues of wood, metal, plaster and clay, which are basic elements used both in artistic production and in the constructionof cities.
The powders shuffle in a similar pattern, in and around a square, always avoiding the centre. The repeated motion eventually shatters the square’s surface, evoking uprisings in this region and elsewhere. These recent protests have revived the function and importance of the public square as a crucial gathering place for citizens and communities.
The organisation of these political collectives through powerful and invisible communication networks has increased the awareness of social consensus as no longer controlled by an established centre of leadership but rather by autonomous actions. The centre is hollow.

The Square, 2011

Rebet’s dark yet whimsical lm The Black Cabinet, 2007, a two-screen animation set in a 19th-century parlour, deals with themes of trickery, deception, illusion and political propaganda. The film features a group of aristocrats conjuring spirits during a séance – one bearing an uncanny resemblance to Mussolini. The work is inspired by the heyday of spiritualism in late 19th-century Europe, when mediums introduced oil ‘spirit paintings’ to summon the dead and bring messages from beyond. Unlike the ‘spirit paintings’, portraits which depicted people from the past, Rebet allows temporalities to collide, as the appari- tions are clearly not phantoms but a sombre prediction of what has yet to come.

Black Cabinet, 2007, Two-channel animation shot on 35mm transferred to HD, sound 3:50 min, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby
Drawings from the series The Black Cabinet, 2007, Ink on paper, 29×36,5 cm, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby

Brand Band News, 2005

”Two shot sisters hitch hike in a eld, hoping to be assigned a new life cast. Yet, their wish vanishes in oblivion as the wind captures them. The girls’ death rides resound through the theatre.” (CR) Brand Band News is a musical work of fiction, at once a tale and a poetic nursery rhyme, combining refrains written by the artist and sound arrangements. It introduces us to curious characters that lead the spectator into a jarring karmic encounter behind closed doors. Brand Band News approximates the logic of dreams and the subconscious, all the better to portray a world slipping into fantasy.

Brand Band News, 2005, Three-channel animation shot on 35mm transferred to HD, sound 3:21, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby
Drawings from the series Brand Brand New, 2005, Ink on paper, 27×55 cm, ©Photo Benjamin Westaby