mit Robben leben
living with seals
The Utopian image of mit Robben leben shows a romantic striving for a moment of perfect harmony between original nature and humans. To approach this image it is necessary to follow a path into inhospitable and barely developed regions, and also to adopt the form of the seal in part by means of sleeping bags. The collage shows a time after arrival, lying down to rest, a time of peaceful togetherness. But seals are wild animals and would not permit human beings to come close to them in this way. This demonstrates the absurdity of the picture, and yet, for all its impossibility, it plays with the thought of arrival or return, of resting after a completed, possibly difficult journey into the territories of the polar circle.
Nordseelandschaft mit Steppensohn
North-Sea Landscape with a Son of the Steppes
The two photographs called Nordseelandschaft mit Steppensohn play with the idea of constructing pictures. A rough landscape has optical similarities to an African Steppe. A figure simply provided with a branch and a scarf wrapped around it as a staff is standing next to a thorn bush, suggesting the cliche idea of a native, who is being photographed with the camera of a member of the expedition.
The object für Klaus is similar in form to a beacon and has four black-and-white monitors, where in each case a member of the group is trying to play an instrument which he or she has not learned to play. The result are separate tones and disharmonies scattered by the wind.
In the background one recognises schematic dunes, and a light-house casts its circle of light across the landscape at regular intervals.
To enable us to get even closer, we have converted a 500 litre rainwater tank into a diving station. The fact that seals can stay underwater for up to two hours without inhaling another breath persuaded us to make trials with this object. Fitted out with snorkel, diving suit and lead weights one can follow what is going on outside from the water-filled dark interior of the tank, using a periscope, but one is isolated from the events and no longer a participant in them