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pepsi, cola, water?

010_00 / 6 May 2016


pepsi, cola, water? is a short experimental documentary about Sun Ra's legendary visit to Egypt in 1971. It is the final chapter of 1971, Sun Ra in Egypt a research project based on the life and work of the legendary African American jazz pioneer, mystic, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra that exists as a series of performances, lectures, installations, videos, art objects, and a related publication. The project takes as its starting point Sun Ra's 1971 visit to Egypt, and many of the related works playfully insert Sun Ra's life and legacy into the conceptual, pop, and minimalist zeitgeist of the New York art world of the 1960s and 1970s.


Every evening since 1961, multicoloured lights of changing intensity are directed against the facade of the pyramids and the sphinx, synchronized with a soundtrack by Halim El-Dabh and accompanied by a dramatized history of the site as narrated by Omar Sharif. Bogaert's video shows footage of the light show's technical setup amid a sci-fi-worthy lunar landscape. Playing with the colour and rhythm of these light shows in relation to Sun Ra's work and performance, Bogaert incorporates computer animation, music by Sun Ra, as well as archive footage.


The film had its world premiere in November 2015 at the International Competition of the Rio de Janeiro Short Film Festival – Curta Cinema, and was made in collaboration with Medrar for Contemporary Art in Cairo, Egypt and SoundImageCulture, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund and Didier Volckaert in Brussels, Belgium.




About the author

Tom Bogaert

Tom Bogaert came to art over a decade ago after practicing refugee law. His artistic practice is organized through long-term research projects that often examine the intersection of humanism and human rights, politics and entertainment, and art and propaganda.


Bogaert moved to Amman, Jordan in 2009 and has since produced a series of works under a project called Impression, proche orient, which draws from his experience as a foreigner living and working in the Arab World and uses irony and criticism to interrogate the layers of his own understanding of contemporary issues throughout the region. He is currently working on Voyage, voyage a research-based work that deals with migration and curatorial romanticism through the figure of the strawberry plant-a radicant or meandering plant forever on the move. It will be presented in Casablanca, Morocco at The Ultra Laboratory and Galerie Fatma Jellal in June 2016.