Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen, The Shores of an Island I Only Skirted (2012)
This video installation by artist duo Sander Breure and Witte van Hulzen shows, on one side of a screen, calm shots of trees, rustling leaves, waving grass, and the splashing of small waves onto a stony beach. The trees, stones, sand, and grass belong to the island of Utøya in Norway. It was on this island in 2011 that Anders Breivik caused a massacre amongst youngsters who had gathered for their annual Labour Party youth summer camp.
The other side of the screen consists of a video montage created with footage taken from the internet, depicting migrants in rickety boats floating on a vast seascape. The work questions whether the island, as the location of a terrible tragedy, has become infected by its past, or could the trees and stones scattered around in the landscape still be considered as just that: trees and stones? And if this place is to be regarded as a “guilty landscape”, then what should one think about the Mediterranean? To link the two screens, the artists constructed a time course of one day and used a soundscape which relates to both screens, composed of found materials, as well as recorded and synthesised sounds.
The Shores of an Island I Only Skirted relies strongly on an associative image, sound, and text editing, and questions our attitude in response to the signs of our times. Many people are part of our lives, but the impressions they leave are always fragmented. This sensual work is about the emptiness, absence, and feelings of alienation that we face today.
The Dutch artistic duo Sander Breure (b.1985) and Witte van Hulzen (b.1984) uses diverse media such as video, performance, photography, drawings, and sculpture. Families, migration, everyday body language, the art world and its unwritten laws, the attack on Utøya: the various subjects are always translated into images, with specific attention to the human condition. 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.
Nuremberg House Gallery
ul. Skałeczna 2