Akeroyd Collection


Maeve Brennan, The Drift, 2017

The Drift traces the movement of objects across shifting economies and through the hands of a series of key protagonists. Via Brennan’s encounters with the gatekeeper of the Roman temples of Niha in the Beqaa Valley; a young mechanic from Britel, a village known for trading automobile parts; and an archaeological conservator working at the American University of Beirut, the film depicts the layered histories and communities of contemporary Lebanon. We follow Brennan’s encounters with the gatekeeper as he recounts his life’s work restoring and guarding the temple ruins, the mechanic, searching scrap yards for used automobile parts to transform his BMW car and the conservator who slowly pieces together fragments of clay artefacts inside his workshop.

The poetic impulse to conflate the stories of protected relics, car parts and ancient antiquities, speaks to ideas of value, identity, resistance and conflict. Combining documentary footage with composed scenes, issues of maintenance and repair, destruction and preservation are foregrounded with quiet political effect. Sites and characters are animated through the circulation of the objects in their care, and the film reveals an unexpected counter-mapping of the region.

MediumSingle-channel video
Duration50 minutes 29 seconds
Editionof 5 + 2 APs