Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki, still from 2 Lizards, 2020. Digital video (8 episodes), colour, sound in English, 22:43. Courtesy the artists; CLEARING Brussels, New York, Los Angeles. Collection of The Vega Foundation.

Meriem Bennani’s collaborative project with Orian Barki, 2 Lizards, questions contemporary society and its fractured systems, individual identity, and the ubiquitous dominance of digital technologies. Using live-action footage, computer-generated animation, and special effects, her videos mix visual references drawn from reality television, advertising, music videos, phone recordings, documentary, and science fiction.

2 Lizards reflects the unfolding realities of the COVID-19 pandemic in real time. Each roughly three-minute episode illustrates the mundanities of quarantine life: rooftop hangouts, Zoom birthdays, the 7 PM clap for essential workers, the thrill of breaking social-distancing rules with a new lover. Bennani and Barki’s process was mostly inspired by their daily events and conversations with friends, whose viewpoints are included in the series through a cast of animated characters.

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