Geoffrey Garrison

Everything I Know About Pasolini's 'Arabian Nights'

Geoffrey Garrison dedicated his fellowship at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen to developing issues that have preoccupied him for some time, namely the correlation between documentary, fiction and conventions of representation in visual culture. In particular, he focused on a project related to Pier Paolo Pasoni’s film Il fiore delle mille e una note (en.: Arabian Nights, 1974), the last film in his Trilogy of Life and the second to last film he ever made. The frame narrative in Pasolini’s version of Arabian Nights is not the classic tale of Scheherazade, but a more obscure story from the One Thousand and One Nights about a slave and her master who become lovers, are separated and are reunited after many travails. In the story, the female slave—disguised as a man—becomes king of a great city and has her ex-master brought to her as a servant.
Geoffrey Garrison spent his stay at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen working on a screenplay that adapted the framing tale from Pasolini’s Arabian Nights into a dystopic, sci-fi B-movie set in the future. The script uses the sexual power play at the center of Pasolini’s film to reflect on the making of the film and its political context.

Geoffrey Garrison (*1978 in Atlanta/USA) lives and works in Berlin. His work questions project-based approaches to artmaking with a view to the relationship between art and its narratives. He studied under Thomas Bayrle at the Städelschule in Frankfurt (1998-99), at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York (1996-2001) and was a researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht (2004-06).