Axis of Light

"A brilliant and compelling documentary" Hans Ulrich Obrist - Serpentine Gallery, London
Purchase 8 Artists from the Middle East

Watching Axis Of Light is a wonderful journey across borders and histories into the work of eight eminent artists all closely attached to the Middle East and North Africa. From Jannane Al Ani's beautiful yet haunting marked landscapes to Ayman Baalbaki's large scale paintings of war affected buildings to the wonderful shots of Mona Saudi lovingly watering her stone sculptures or Rachid Koraïchi's true homage to years of human mark making, one is gently transported between history, politics and poetry. The histories unfolding are marked by war and exile yet as Baalbaki serenely expresses it ' It is difficult to put into words but nonetheless [war/destruction] is something which becomes very natural, it makes up a part of your life'. Throughout the film nothing is turned sensational -Shirin Neshat speaks of conflicting forces in her work, Mona Hatoum positively refers to 'identities in flux' and Etel Adnan talks of a close by age when 'the country will be the computer' while Youssef Nabil goes from exile to paradise. The works are beautifully filmed and the artists have been subtly directed as to express themselves generously, giving accounts that seem a perfect balance between personal and universal. Axis of Light has drawn a truly wonderful portrait of artists.

Saeb Eigner - Author of Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran


Etel Adnan Jananne Al-Ani Ayman Baalbaki Mona Hatoum Rachid Koraïchi Youssef Nabil Shirin Neshat Mona Saudi


Producer / DirectorPia Getty Writer / Co-DirectorNichola Bruce Director of Photography / Associate DirectorZillah Bowes Director of Photography / Associate DirectorMark Carey MusicHarry Escott EditorJustinian Buckley View Full Credits



Pia Getty Films Presents








Jananne Al-Ani

Ayman Baalbaki

Mona Saudi

Mona Hatoum

Etel Adnan

Rachid Koraïchi

Youssef Nabil

Shirin Neshat

Introduction by

Reem Al Faisal

Titles by

Golnaz Fathi

End Credits


Jananne Al-Ani

Ayman Baalbaki

Mona Saudi

Mona Hatoum

Etel Adnan

Rachid Koraïchi

Youssef Nabil

Shirin Neshat



Produced and Directed by

Pia Getty



Nichola Bruce


End Roller Credits


Executive Producer
Pia Getty

Creative Producer & Written by
Nichola Bruce

Associate Producer
Clare Dearnaley

Associate Directors
Zillah Bowes
Mark Carey

Edited by
Justinian Buckley

Music by
Harry Escott

Director of Photography
Zillah Bowes
Mark Carey

Additional Photography
Dustin Lynn
Sam Sharples
Piers Leigh

Additional Editing
Jerry Chater

Sound Designer
Gernot Fuhrmann

Sound Recordists
Andy Paddon-Smith
Philippe Ciompi
Henry Milliner
Lucy Pickering
Ian Currie

Alana Pryce Tojcic
Asha Motee

Business and Legal Affairs
Christine Howard

Production Assistants
Simon Mills
Fionn Macgregor
Ariane Wolleb

Assistant to Mrs Getty
Kate Marchetti
Zoe Wilkinson

Music Recording and Mix Engineer
Ian Wood

Persian Santur: Peyman Heydarian
Oud: Roskar Nasan
Piano and Cello: Harry Escott
Singers: Yasaman Kazemi & Mansour Izadpanah

Music Researcher
Lilly Ladjevardi

Titles Unit
Director of Photography: Mark Carey
Art Director: Sarah Kane
Props: Dan Gardner
Camera Assistant: Chris Dodds
Lighting Assistant: Ariane Wolleb
Lighting supplied by: Mark Carey & David Niblock

Sound Mixing by Goldcrest Post
Sound Re-Recording Mixer
Jamie Roden

The Word Store

Production Accountants
Alliots Accountancy
Jackie Withey
Mariana Hadzhieva

Post production services provided by Unit
Post Producer Alex Finch
Online editor Bryan Farrar
Smoke operator Nick John
Colourist Simon Astbury

Special Thanks to:
Anthony Wall
Ed Brennan (DFS)
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Isabelle de la Bruyere
Saeb Eigner
Maryam Eisler
Simone Fattal, Post-Apollo Press
Tarane Ali Khan, The Third Line, Dubai
Frederic Lafargue
Zaha Hadid
Rob Humpage
Maryam Imani
Prof. Dr. Ziad Al-Sa'ad, Catreena Hamarneh, Khalil Hamdan,
Jordanian Department of Antiquities, Jordan
The Embassy of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, London
The Arab British Centre, London
Venetia Porter, Louisa Macmillan, The British Museum, London
Pedro Girao, Christie's, London
Stefani Crone, Jonathan Greet, October Gallery, London
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Julia Peyton-Jones, The Serpentine Gallery, London
Akiko Akizawa, Tate Modern, London
Jon Lowe, White Cube, London
VET Post Production, London
The Zenith Foundation, London
Daniela da Prato Gallery, Paris
Maxi Museum, Rome
Sascha Crasnow, Daniel Feinberg, Jeannie Freilich,
Gladstone Gallery, New York
Leila Heller Gallery, New York
Paige Gregor, Indiepix, New York
Kieran O'Mahoney
Sheika Lulu Al-Sabah
Michal Shabtay
John Williamson

Special thanks for inspiration
Father Carney Gavin, Archives for Historical Documentation

Copyright and images courtesy the artist

Shadow Sites I
(from The Aesthetics of Disappearance: A Land Without People)
Film Installation, 2010
Arts Council Collection, Southbank, London

She Said
Video Installation, 2000

Southern Steppe - Jordan
Prehistoric settlement
Film research

Shadow Sites II
(from The Aesthetics of Disappearance: A Land Without People)
Film Installation, 2011
Abraaj Capital Art Prize, 2011

Copyright and images courtesy of the artist

Beirut after Israeli vacuum bombing, July 2006
Photograph by Frederic Lafargue

Copyright and images courtesy the artist

Reproduced by the permission of the
Palestine Exploration Fund, London

All other photographs
Courtesy of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities

Copyright and images courtesy of the artist

Black finished steel and fishing wire, 2009

3-D Cities
Printed maps and wood, 2008-2009
Photos Kleinefenn

Interior Landscape
Installation, 2008
Photo Agostino Osio

Daybed and Paravent
Steel work, 2008

Photos Jörg von Bruchhausen, 2008

Doormat II
Steel work, 2000 - 2001
Photo Oren Slor

Installation, 1999
Footage courtesy Jon Lowe, White Cube, London

Copyright and images and all writings courtesy of the author/artist

Journey to Mount Tamalpais
The Indian Never had a Horse

Book covers and images courtesy of Simone Fattal
for the Post-Apollo Press

Sitt Marie-Rose
Published by Tamyras

Copyright and images courtesy the artist

You Never Left
Film Installation & Exhibition, 2010
Fanny Ardant & Tahar Rahim
Music: "L'arbre qui voit"
Written by Anouar Brahem - ECM Records/Verlag GmbH, from album ECM 1792
Anouar Brahem, François Couturier, Jean-Louis Matinier:
Le pas du chat noir published by ECM GmbH, 2002



Self Portrait as a Kid

Cairo, 2008


Cinema - Self-Portrait

Florence, 2006


The End

New York, 2007



Florence, 2006


Catherine Deneuve

Paris, 2010


David Lynch

Paris, 2007


Charlotte Rampling

Paris, 2011


Rossy de Palma

Madrid, 2002


Tracey Sleeping
London, 2006




Beverly Hills, 2008           


Self-Portrait with Roots

Los Angeles, 2008



Barfleur, 2005            


Self-Portrait, Next to the Fire

Paris, 2004



I will go to Paradise
Self-Portrait, Hyères, 2008

Copyright and images held by the artist
All images courtesy the artist, October Gallery, London
and The British Museum

A Nation in Exile - Hyme Gravé

Rock Painting of decorated woman and children on cave
Tassili n'Ajjer, Unesco World Heritage Site, Algeria
Photo by: Ian Griffiths
Collection: Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

Tassili rock painting, Algeria
Photo by: Jack Jackson
Collection: Robert Harding World Imagery/Getty Images

L'Enfant Jazz - (Mohammed Dib)
Unbound book,1998
2005, 0709,0.3 Brooke Sewell Permanent Fund,
Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

Jardin d' Orient
Excerpt Rachid Koraïchi Archive, 2004
Copyright Rachid Koraïchi & Dominique Mohn

Lithograph, 2009

Ibn Ata Allah Al Iskandari
Lithograph, 2009
Photos by Jonathan Greet

Lithograph, 2008

The Path of Roses
Steel Sculpture, Porcelain Vessel
Hand woven linen and embroidery, 1995 - 2005

Rachid Koraïchi. The Path of Roses
filmed by Astrid Menze
© ikonoTV 2011

Copyright and images courtesy of Shirin Neshat and
Gladstone Gallery, New York

Video/audio Installation, 1999
Music and Sound Designed
by Sussan Deyhim

Women of Allah Series
Faceless, 1994
Rebellious Silence, 1994
Speechless, 1996
Guardians of Revolution, 1994
Untitled, 1996
Untitled, 1994

Video/sound Installation, 1998
Music and Sound Designed by Sussan Deyhim

Women Without Men
provided by
Produceur: Essential Filmproduktion
Co-produceur: Co-op 99, Parisienne de Production
International Sales company: Coproduction Office



Thank you to all the artists, curators and contributors involved in

Axis of Light

Mohammed Afkhami, Hossein Amirsadeghi, Reza Aramesh, Kader Attia, Dia Al Azzawi,
Anthony Downey, Farboud Dowlatshahi, Hala Elkoussy, Reem Al Faisal, Susan Hefuna,
Hassan Hajjaj, Teraneh Hemami, Rose Issa, Nja Mahdaoui, John Martin, Moncef Msakni,
Mahmud Obaidi, Venetia Porter, Georges Rabbath, Steve Sabella, Faisal Samra,
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Hassan Sharif,
Abdul Raheem Sharif, Khaled Ben Slimane, Wijdan Ali


Axis of Light is a cross media project


©2011 Pia Getty Films Limited


Rachid Koraïchi
Youssef Nabil
Nichola Bruce
Pia Getty
Justinian Buckley
Harry Escott
Not artist test
Zillah Bowes
Jananne Al-Ani
Mona Saudi
Ayman Baalbaki
Etel Adnan
Mona Hatoum
Copyright © 2018 Pia Getty Site by Artlogic