Stranded Present

FullHD video, 16 min, loop, 2015

, Stranded Present, videoregistration Vimeo.

The vertigo effect of time in today’s culture makes the present appear as if woven out of many pasts. Transformed, shifted or mutilated, historical motifs have found their home in the adornments of many past and future households. While searching for the strength and sustainability of certain patterns, we stumbled upon the 18th century illustrations of the ruins of Palmyra in the Parisian Bibliothèque Fornay, a library of decorative arts. We reconstructed this once flattened motif of the ruin, depicting its endless dimensions—plastic, malleable and untouchable—as a liquid body, transforming over time.

On the night of its first appearance in public, ISIS took control of the historic city of Palmyra and, with that, expropriated the meaning of our work. And nevertheless, or perhaps precisely because of this,  the motif is again nestled in our brains, as a stream that, once settled in its bed, will flow on for ages. 

Relics of the Real at Akinci, photo Gert Jan de Rooij

Picture of drawing (Robert Wood, 18th century)from Palmyra we used for our digital model.