“Sometimes I wonder how Hengli transports everything. Emotions. Sensations. Statements. Opinions. These are all ghosts, slimy, dripping creatures. All these formless expressions, Hengli transports and shapes. Like fungus. Their form is defined by their surroundings. Like how others read you. They read what they see and you become that.”- wE
有时候我在想，亨利是怎么搬运这么多东西的。情绪、感觉、声明、观点。这些都是黏糊糊的魂魄，流淌得到处都是。 而亨利要搬运所有这些东西，还要把无形的捏成有形的。 像菌类一样，取决于周围是什么样。像他们阅读你的方式一样，他们看到他们所看到的，然后你就变成那样的形状。-wE
اتسال بعض الاحيان كيف يمكن ليهنقلي ان ينقل الاشياء. المشاعر. الاحاسيس. النصوص ، اللآراء. كل هذه أشباح، مخلوقات
لزجة، تتساقط في كل مكان. كل هذه التعبيرات النى لا شكل لها، يقوم هنقلي بنقلها و تشكيلها كالفطريات. تعرف اشكالها بما هو حولها. مثلما يقرأك الآخرون. يقرأون ما يرونه و انت تصبح هذا. – نحن
Hengli (2020) is a collaboration between artist Ahaad Alamoudi and artist and curator Mengna Da. It discusses notions of translation and preservation: how messages form and reform as they are passed down from generation to generation, through different objects, subjects and environments. Shot in front of Brooklyn’s Immigration Office, the video imagines a future where human beings invent Hengli, a universal language agent that can be understood by anyone. Where all languages – English, Arabic, Chinese, etc. – are banned by the governments to ensure total transparency in their citizens’ communication. Yet, when the duo (wE) lose Hengli, they have to explore communication and memory building through different means…The piece highlights the struggles, friction and tension that occur when information is morphed through translated dialogues and movements.
Through our research into memory we found that a lot of it loses its truth through the passage of time and institutional erasure. The more memories accumulate the harder it becomes for us to form a factual image of the past. As a result we focused our research on the collapse of memory, in parallel with the collapse of translation. How truth is shaped by translation? What is lost and what stays? Who gets to decide what to keep or not? How does memory exist outside of ourselves and when and where does memory fall into ruin?
The piece was created with help from cinematographers: Xin Fang and Abdullah Alamoudi.