De Anima (2022) is an installation by Riyadh-based choreographer, dancer and artist Sarah Brahim, and features a performance film large-scale projection mapped onto the underside of a bridge in the Wadi Hanifa wetlands.
In the film, which spans the light cycle of a single day, the individual is represented as a “light being”, a discrete entity within a larger world, separated by the porous boundaries of the body but able to extend beyond through the power of their imagination: both limited and limitless at once. The film’s script echoes the artist’s long-term research to understand the body through every possible less.
The location of the bridge symbolises the gateway between the external and internal worlds, between collective and individual. The audience is invited to make this journey by walking along the shore through the columns of the underpass. Projection functions as an extension of the eye, creating a direct pathway to an imagined world. Individual audio headsets work in combination with the visuals to deepen the immersion in the experience.
The film explores how as individuals we surround ourselves with light, both physical and metaphorical, for balance and harmony. As a tribute to Aristotle’s immense treatise “De Anima”, Brahim offers with her installation an extension of the original philosopher’s theory, further looking at light as the animator of the soul. The location was chosen as the place where the sky and the waters of the wadi converge: “where the celestial body, physical body and body of water can meet”.
Directed and produced: Sarah Brahim
Cinematography: Michele Giannantonio
Director of photography: Massimilliano Cosi-
Lights/gaffing: Kevin Michaluk, Nate L. Miles
Sound composition: Carmine Calia, Gaio Ariani
Costumes by: Angelica Picco
Photography: Mia Krys
Set, props, special thanks: Noreen Brahim