Anri Sala's film 1395 Days Without Red was made in collaboration with Liria Begeja and Ari Benjamin Meyers, is a co-commission with the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, and is part of The Artangel Collection.
Both versions are extremely affecting, and both have their humour: the fear of the populace transmuted into absurd relay races at the crossroads, rubbernecking in the shadow of buildings, the same feelings of solitary, hopeless exposure, the shuffled herding at street corners. The two films become a stereoscopic view of the same thing. Or is it the same thing? – Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 4 July 2011.
During the 1395 day long siege of Sarajevo in the early 1990s, the city's residents were advised not to wear bright colours that might draw attention from snipers in the hills above. Retracing the route of Sniper Alley today, Anri Sala's film follows a woman, played by Maribel Verdú, as she makes her way through the city on foot. At each intersection she makes the decision whether to stop or to run, to run on her own or with others. Elsewhere in the city, an orchestra is rehearsing passages from Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony, the Pathétique. The musicians stop and start, repeating different sections of the symphony, echoing the movements of the residents through the city.
Image: Banner showing a detail from Anri Sala, 1395 Days without Red at the Whitworth, The University of Manchester, in 2011. Photograph: Eleanor Nairne