Wanderers: Reflections on Exile

20 september, 1995 - 7 october, 1995
Sabatini Building, Auditorium
Corinne Diserens
Rea Tajiri. History and Memory, 1991
Rea Tajiri. History and Memory, 1991

Rejecting the conventional distinction between documentary and fiction, history and representation, the choice of works excludes both expository documentaries - a medium that has come to dominate other systems for representing reality - classic fiction and purely experimental projects. Unlike works intended for teaching purposes, which base themselves on rational aspects to order to try to offer systematic explanations, the pieces here do not present biographical fragments or places, but rather construct a different approach. These videos feature mixtures of dreams, narrative, diaries and documentary footage, often reaching the limit of a type of fiction that takes viewers to the boundaries between ‘him’ and ‘the outsiders’, arriving at the dangerous territory of non-belonging, the place where people were exiled in primitive eras and where in the modern age, vast groups of human beings wander like displaced people.

A large part of the life of an exile is devoted to trying to recover from the feeling of loss and the disorientation that accompanies this feeling through the creation of a new world. It seems reasonable that the world of the exile appears unnatural; as Edward Said noted in his essay Reflections on Exile, its unreality resembles fiction. Geographical displacement, whether desired or involuntary, is as ancient as civilisation itself. But this physical and cultural dislocation has been extended and accelerated to a previously unimaginable point. Advanced technologies facilitate the continuous transmission of information and merchandise to different corners of the world, to the point that the very idea of cultural purity has become a form of nostalgia. This spectacular restructuring of the world and communication is the subject that videos work with when they investigate migration, exile, alienation and the fight against the destruction of memory.