Lost in Space
with Mieke Bal, 2005
PaL video, 18:00 min., Stereo, Multilingual with English subtitles
Cameras: Mieke Bal and Shahram Entekhabi
Thanks to: University of Amsterdam, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA)
and Baker Nord Center for the Humanities, Case Western Reserve Univeristy, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Lost in Space
The 18-minute video “Lost in Space” gives shape to what is otherwise barely perceptible: the effort to speak in an Anglicized world. Many people live an international life, and encounter limitations in communication while also feeling liberated by the opening of the world. Who wouldn’t recognize this situation today? The global and the local meet and rub against each other in today’s “glocal” world.
Other people’s dreams, set against the harsh reality of their lives: this is the subject of the installation Lost in Space. Caution is the pivotal element of this installation, turning on the notion of performance at the heart of this video. It will also be projected on a large wall, but here ends the similarity with the installation Rockefeller Boulevard. Here, the projection is supplemented by a sound tape of people talking about their experiences living in the contemporary world. From the screen leads a pathway delimited by the same caution tape that constitutes the materiality of the sculpture made in the performance of the film. This pathway, parodying the itinerary traditionally built into museum exhibitions, leads to another room. In this space, three television monitors, provided with headphones, are juxtaposed.
Each monitor displays a short film, respectively on “home,” “security,” and “borders,” consisting of elements from interviews with people who explain to us what “home” and “homeland” means for them, what “security” contributes to that meaning, and what their experiences of borders have done to their sense of being securely “at home”: these are the questions that the current political climate compelled the artists to ask. What can a homeland be for an Albanian in Macedonia, or a Macedonian in Greece, to name just two examples? A Brazilian who returns home to find the photos of his boyfriend slashed to his mattress in a totally vandalized house, a homeless woman who was as homeless as the child of a drug-addicted mother as she is now with her two small children – what does “home” mean for them? An asylum seeker who has been “out” for 15 years and barely remembers what his language sounds like when spoken by familiar mouths, or an Irish woman who grew up with stories of snipers that made the parents’ home town forbidden territory – is security something that can be rule-governed, and do borders help or enhance the sense of insecurity that, it seems, is the primary feeling in today’s world?
At this point in this series of works devoted to a politically responsive reflection on the contemporary world, word, and image, fiction yields to the words of the people who make up that world’s population, and process those images. At the end of this reflection, then, the remaining question is engaged with the refusal to yield psychological and sentimental access. Instead, the people to whose intimate lives we have no right of entry offer us their thoughts, in the hope of thus engendering understanding, perhaps even community, against all odds, with those who come into the gallery to look, and listen.*
*Excerpt fromfrom "Lost in Space, Lost in the Library" (23–36).
Migratory Aesthetics: Cultural Practices Between Migration and Art-making, eds. Sam Durrant and Catherine M. Lord
Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2007
ISBN-10 : 9042022361
ISBN-13 : 978-9042022362
Lost in Space appeared at the following exhibitions, festivals and Lectures, among others:
2017: Employment History, Royal Dutch Institute Rome, Italy
2017: Mieke Bal Film Day, Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway
2014: Trauma and Art, by Gannit Ankori, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass., USA
2010: Auto-theory. Audio-visual thinking and migratory culture. Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria
2009: Writing with Images, Lecture, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
2009: Nothing is Missing, European University, St. Petersburg, Russia
2009: Going the Distance: Video Works in Migratory Aesthetics., Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
2008: Culture and Citizenship, Conference “, CRESC, Hugh College, Open University, Oxford, UK
2008: Visual essentialism and the object of visual culture, University of Washington, USA
2006: 10th International Documentary Film Festival Jihlava, Jihlava, Czech Republic
2006: 19th Annual Images Festival of Independent Film & Video, Vtape, Toronto, Canada
2006: Lost in Space, MASS MoCA Museum for Contemporary Arts, North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
2006: Lost in Space, International Contemporary Art Experts Forum (ARCO), Madrid, Spain
2006: The Role of Humanities in Society Today conference, Oslo, Norway
2005: Codification of Violence in Medial Transformation, graduate seminar, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
2005: Contemporary Art and Globalization: Issues, Research, Resources and Networks in Europe, INHA European Symposium, Paris, France
2005: BEOGRAD NEKAD I SAD, exhibition, Galerija Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia
2005: Borders, Markets, Movements, CASA meeting 2005, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2005: Sonic Interventions, conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands
شهرام انتخابی 尚莱姆_恩特卡比
Shahram Entekhabi is an German-Iranian- artist, curator & architect, currently living & working across Tehran, Iran - Berlin, Germany and Europe.