Sarah Dobai
The Donkey Field & In Plain Sight
films and photographs
12. November 2021. - 10. December
Opening: 11. November 2021 at 18:00
The central feature of the exhibition will be a single screen film titled The Donkey Field. The artist's new film weaves a link between an antisemitic attack in 1944 on a young boy on a piece of common land known locally as 'the donkey field' and the story of the persecution of Marie and Balthazar in the acclaimed film Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966).

The film features a text, based on sections of a memoir of Budapest in the last year of World War II, and scenes which re-enact and reframe Bresson's allegorical story about the scapegoating of innocent subjects. Partly shot on the streets of present-day Budapest, under a regime criticized for its anti-immigrant policies and harsh treatment of refugees, The Donkey Field underlines the relevance of the boy's story to other, more recent stories of displacement and victimization.

The exhibition also includes several new photographic works that depict landscapes whose pastoral qualities become shadowed by their association with dark episodes of European history. Alongside this the gallery will present In Plain Sight which looks to another of Bresson's film Pickpocket (1959).

The exhibition will also include a selection of photographs from The Overcoat, an artist's bookwork published by Four Corners Press in London in which Nikolai Gogol's 1842 darkly humorous novella of the same name is presented alongside large format photographs of contemporary shop vitrines.

Sarah Dobai is a London based artist with family roots in Budapest and who works with photography, film, publication, and performance. Her recent works have re-enacted and repurposed historical works of cinema or literature, frequently working between image and text, as a means of addressing present day concerns in a historical setting.