AT THE END OF THE WORLD I EXIST
The first thing French film critic Serge Daney (1944-1992) would do upon arrival in the places he traveled to, was to buy one postcard and send it to his mother in Paris. ‘At the end of the world I exist’, he mentions in the book Postcards from the Cinema (2007), as one of the gestures you make when you send someone a postcard.
The written ‘I’ relates to every reader’s own ‘I’. The sentence creates then an imaginative line between the written ‘I’ and the person reading it. The written 'I' relates to a moment in life being at the end of the world or imagines this a moment still to come.
The act of sending a postcard establishes a relationship between sender and addressee. There's him and you, in two different places. He was thinking of you and the postcard reminds you of this, it concretizes a mutual thought, but cannot present this mutuality in time: the postcard is always late.
Sentences carry the reader in a horizontal direction. Is the character ‘I’ – when we see the letter as a vertical line interrupting the horizontality of the sentence – fixed? Does this fixation offer new ‘vertical’ possibilities to travel various and unimaginable directions? And what if traveling becomes wandering – traveling without a specific destination – getting in an infinitive loop?
To travel, like other practices, is to pass through identities. A trace (maybe an ‘I’) is a fictive line that divides a space in two. Looking closer, the line is a new space, a wake, the result of the fragmentation. This space, how it is generated and the duration of/in it, is what is investigated in the installation of sculptures and images shown in the exhibition. The works on display is mirroring an ongoing discourse between the two artists about traveling, distance and the transportive potentialities of the image.
RETURNING, TENERIFE Eva Olthof
From her house in Amherst, Massachusetts Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote many poems and letters, when she died most part of her correspondence was burned but her poetry was made public because it was considered as her letter to the world. Dickinson lived her life in reclusion, between the walls of her parental home amongst family. She wrote about geographical places as if she had visited them, about Naples and Tenerife. In letters to friends she mentioned that she traveled when she closed her eyes. One could say that she mobilized herself through reading books and magazines, writing about the things she had read.
The installation juxtaposes two idea’s: Dickinson’s ability to travel via books while she was sojourned in one spot and French film critic Serge Daney’s (1944-1992) drive to run his entire life to every direction of the world: the unsigned postcard. In both lives the image played an important role; Dickinson captured images through the suggestive language of poetry and Daney became in his childhood a cinephile- someone totally captivated by cinema- he never made cinema himself; he wrote about his experience with it stemming from his own biography combined with his theoretical, journalistic and critical experience. Like cinema, everyone can read the postcard but understand it in different ways, it can be the place of private coded communication yet to be read by the mailman and the recipient. Daney saw the postcard as an image ‘flaked off’ reality.
Daney sent more than fifteen hundred postcards to his mother, he would find the last one sent upon arrival back home on a piece of furniture where his mother left if for him to easily archive it with the others. The last postcard I have sent to my mother depicts Pico del Teide on Tenerife. The last postcard I received came from La Palma showing volcano Teneguia.
ROUNDELAY Stefano Faoro
During an interview video artist Michael Snow described the traditional movie theater situation in a simple sentence: “we are two sides and we fold”. Outside the movie theater the process becomes costant, a loop of the act of folding. Travelling can be seen as a movement through different temporalities and spaces, through identities.
The installation is about the travel to get here – now walking through the room, through different durations: the outside, the architecture, the furniture, the book, us. The rope and the representation of it is something we are normally not aware of, a tool to keep the process of folding costant – and its result.
Made possible in part by Etalage Derde Wal & Mondriaan Fund the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture