An installation of video, photography
This work explores the notion of communication, not only as a visual
language, but communication as a set of relationships between art
and life, war and peace, spectator and creator, memory and language.
The concept of communication; like a telephone as
an instrument, which far from eliminating distance hands you over
to it. Our constant attempt in all domains of society to minimize
distance in pursuit of globalisation; bringing together, coming
together, being together - anything that constitutes a non-distance
to life, with life and for life. Anything that decries solitude,
slowness and silence.
Thinking it as a long-distance phone call - trying
to make sense of the other receiver's non-sense, replacing the phone
with organic, singular activity - the installation is in effect
a documentation of a man alone walking through Europe to Kosovo.
The walk is not to make sense out of something seemingly senseless.
French contemporary thinker, Jean-Luc Nancy, has already written
that the Sense of the World has come to an end, 'there is
a loss of meaning, a loss of sense.' What he says is that there
is a loss of any transcendant meaning or teleology which would give
absolute sense to sense, which is replaced by the 'absolutisation
of nihilism of relative sense.'
My idiosyncratic performance during 78 days across
the European landscape is an inquiry into distance - the journey
itself. It is the existence of the journey, and not the essence
of the destination. My position is akin to that of a passer-by constantly
trying to situate himself in a moving environment. Each intervention
is another fragment of the story that is being invented and a challenge
to the narrative and economic structure of Western representation.
A movement through images and the memory of them experienced in
a non-chronological, non-linear way.
What remains after or before the 'event' are marks
of human subjectivity. We are always already too late for any event,
even if we might see it or even experience it. It is impossible
to overcome distance by speaking, by writing or by making art. What
is left are fragments; visual souvenirs captured like postcards
that are too late, recorded after or before the event. Postcards
that do not inform us about an essence, but a mere existence; traces
of my distance; the vestige of my journey as a passage, a constant
shifting space, a sporadic identity of a vagrant lifestyle where
the kinetic migration becomes life (the work) itself, and the Being
is that of the other exposed to itself and the other likewise.
The installation is in itself like a picture; each image and object
representing both detail and wholeness, absence and presence, appearance
and disappearance; its coming and going. Its fragmentation of narrative,
where the narrative is the same, but each time different; 'each
time with the promise to affirm in differance, yet with all the
risk to threat' as philosopher, Jacques Derrida says. 'No promise
without threat.' Here essence is replaced with mere existence.
Martin Toft, March 2000