Sara Sadik

5 Jul-13 Oct 2024
PV 4 Jul 2024

FACT Liverpool
Liverpool L1 4DQ


Sara Sadik explores loneliness, love and empowerment through a fantastical blend of film, installation and games; creating worlds that sit between fiction and documentary. In XENON PALACE CHAMPIONSHIP (2023), Sara creates a space that allows groups of men who experience prejudice and cultural alienation in everyday life to escape and find solidarity through the shared space and experiences of the Xenon Palace hookah lounge.

In her work, Sara often focuses on the unique sub-cultures developed by diasporas, particularly in her homeland of France. Born from a sense of displacement and altering behaviours to better assimilate into a new culture, fashion, music and language become symbols that connect individuals and create new collective identities and belonging. Here, Sara deconstructs and reimagines these symbols within a fictional world, as we follow a group of men gathered in a place that can hold the multiplicity of their own selves.

The film joins a group of men as they gather for a gaming tournament, all playing for the keys to the Xenon Palace - a place created to escape reality. Following lone-wolf protagonist Émile-Samory, we experience the passion, drive and sense of belonging that the palace instils, but also the dependence on and social currency placed in being a part of this space. Echoing the haven of the palace, Sara has transformed the gallery into a magical hookah lounge. Here, you can take part in the gameplay as the narrative of the film unfolds, using custom-built hookah hoses to train and battle Xenons - fantastical creatures that emerge from wisps of smoke. As the tournament builds and tensions heighten, Émile-Samory reflects on brotherhood and belonging, highlighting the complex relationship between alienation, ambition, and securing your legacy.