chapter
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Runa Islam

The structural and technical elements of Islam’s work are thereby inextricably linked to their

conceptual framework. Islam’s technique critically engages the formal apparatus of the moving

image. Her methods include loose-sometimes fragmented-plot structures, unusual framing

and camera angles, discontinuities, or slow-motion, all ways of affirming that film is not merely a

One of Islam’s earlier works, Tuin (1998), is an “intertextual” work that employs film,

video, and sound. For Tuin, Islam restages a scene devised by cinematographer Michael Ballhaus

for Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Martha (1973), in which the male character’s gaze on the female

character is portrayed by an unprecedented 360-degree camera tracking shot. Presented as a

three-screen installation, Tuin introduces a multitude of shifting perspectives, rendering a dense,

layered reconsideration of the characters and, via the 360-degree movement, revealing the

perspectives of not only the actors, but also the film crew and the camera itself.