3 channel video installation
A project in collaboration with Janne Schäfer (Berlin).
It is based on a communal 3 week long journey from Berlin to Sicily they undertook in June 2009. The aim of the journey was to explore past and contemporary German-Italian relations of immigration and tourism in the face of today’s complex and diverse trans-European spider-web of migration and movement. The main question raised in the video is to explore the relationship between identity and place.
“We crossed Europe physically. We are from different parts of the continent. Crossing right through from North to South we traversed many geographic borders as well as mental ones. We didn’t know each other before we left but our lives merged for the time. We travelled in opposite directions, and yet together. We came across many people and their stories: adventurers, refugees, nomads, tourists, immigrants and cyber-space travelers; Italians, Germans, Europeans, global citizens and all combinations in-between.”
The work exists in 2 versions: as a split screen version on DVD for single projection (24 min) and as a 3-channel installation for multi screen projection (looped). It features German, Italian and English language.
It is a dialogue between a fictive female narrator, a collection of personal testimonies of various people the artists met and moving images shot along the way. The voice of the female narrator poses questions and statements about her own self-identification in the light of a dislocated state of being. She is an artificial traveler, someone who maybe hasn’t ever travelled unless through others’ experiences and seems to know the whole world and the human condition as a mental or philosophical state. On the other hand a diverse array of people are telling about their personal experiences of moving and migrating. All of the characters seem to have created various and different kinds of hyper-identities layering and sampling from different places, memories and desires. The projected moving images of fleeting landscapes and peripheral observations and the dialogue of disembodied voices create a mental space every traveler knows: a mix of longing, curiosity, change of perspective, increased self-awareness and a simultaneous sense of loss. The work creates a powerful, though-provoking audio-visual space taking the audience right into the experience of being in-between spaces and to question one’s own identity in the light of this situation.
The project and the journey from Berlin to Catania was organized by association Erbematte in Catania in cooperation with Uqbar Berlin. The edit of the work was kindly supported by The Italian Cultural Institute in Wolfsburg/Germany