INcoming – Screen City Biennial

We all come into this world the same way: with nothing. When we must move or change environments for reasons beyond our control, and when we are forced to flee, we often leave with nothing… to find a place that we can finally think of as a new land, rest our feet and reach a sense of belonging.

Both Incoming (2017) and Sailors (2017) are  part of larger project commissioned for Screen City Biennial 2017. The works are born out of a response to the infamous image published April 19, 2016, in which the Norwegian immigration minister Sylvi Listhaug was photographed in the Mediterranean Sea abandoning ship from a Norwegian rescue vessel – wearing a protective orange survival suit – stating to the press, “You can’t put yourself in the same situation as the refugees but you can see it from that perspective [and experience of] how it is to be in the water that way”. As a symbolic response to this image, the artist invited four foreigners living in Stavanger to partake in the same action and launch themselves into the North Sea in Stavanger – the capital of oil and economy in Norway – and to simply jump into the water… and float. The film is an allegory to the gesture of “throwing oneself into something”. However, to throw oneself into something is not only a physical act but also a decision with deep layers and meanings. To throw oneself into the void, jump into the water, or throw oneself into new situations in life or into the unknown, life is always a limbo where one must make decisions: either stay watching from the fringes or throw oneself in and invent wonderful ‘machines’ to help one survive the journey. It is a jump.

In this work, notice how real life is transformed into a platform of the imaginary. the artist invites you to connect to the work from a point of departure in your own perspective, your own histories.

Commissioned by Screen City Biennial.

Incoming (2017) is installed on building façade and inside Stavanger Concert Hall, 7 October, 19-24.

Image: Enrique Ramírez, In coming (2017), 2K Video, 17 minutes, with sound, video still. Commissioned by Screen City Biennial. Courtesy of the artist.

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