The Migrant (Moving) Image
Epilogue – The Shores of an Island I Only Skirted
Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen
15 – 24 January 2016
Finissage: Sunday 24 January 4 – 6pm @
Throughout three chapters and an epilogue the film program The Migrant (Moving) Image presents an alternative image of a world in flux, beyond Fortress Europe. The program concludes with the epilogue: The Shores of an Island I Only Skirted, a two-channel video installation by Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen (NL).
Upon entering the exhibition we see a film of a Norwegian island; green meadows, a calm sea that meets the shores of the island, an empty clubhouse. The scenes show no trace of human activity. Several shots record the small, idyllic island from a distance. However, when we learn that this is Utøya – the place that is marked by the unprecedented tragedy of the politically motivated massacre of 2011 – the image of the seemingly peaceful island is shrouded by an uncanny, haunting atmosphere.
Meanwhile, the other side of the double projection presents a collage of shaky video fragments depicting elements of migration. All images were found online, spanning from the arrival of immigrants on Ellis Island in the early 20th century, to the notorious images of crowded refugee-boats that are washing ashore in Europe today.
Both sides of the installation are accompanied by the same fragmented soundtrack, interlacing the different sets of images. At one point we hear Don Quixote’s companion Sancho Panza cry out: “Oh an Island, master! That’s what I want, an island with plenty of good land (…). And plenty of water around it, to keep out the soldiers and thieves alike.” It turns out this island never existed. In the context of today, the two films – that are in fact two sides of the same coin – sketch a disturbing image of Europe: a metaphorical island that is often imagined as a utopia, but for many proves to be just the opposite.
About the artists
The Dutch artistic duo Sander Breure (°1985) and Witte van Hulzen (°1984) uses diverse media such as video, performance, photography, drawings and installation. Families, migration, insignificant behaviour, the art world and its unwritten laws, the attack on Utøya: the various subjects are always translated into images, with specific attention to the condition humaine. Their work is rooted in a romantic tradition. Due to the way in which they attempt, through the continual reuse of images, to investigate the essence of art and its relationship to our world, that tradition takes on new connotations. Central to their oeuvre is the issue of where images originate, what they portray and what they mean to us.