A Sense of Warmth
Venue: Studio Hidegszoba
1072 Budapest, Dob utca 24, 2nd floor
Conceptual in their approach, Sven Johne’s photos and films capture a sense of tension existing between words and images, arising from the discrepancies between the visible image that offers no clue in itself as to what it stands for and the invisible yet describable and palpable stories. The narrator in Sven Johne’s movingly beautiful film, presented at OFF-Biennale, seeks refuge on a distant island secluded from the reality of contemporary society, working as a volunteer for an institute of ornithology. Initially, the useful and noble work (done in the name of science) in a moneyless and fearless, self-sustaining community seems to come as a relief, and the sun always shining on the island proves to be healing.
The island is a well-known stopover site for migratory birds on their route from Scandinavia to North Africa, where ornithologists capture some of the birds to perform various, apparently harmless examinations, ring them and set them free again. With the passage of time, however, the scientists notice that the birds settle on the island, rather than resuming their migration to Africa. As the institute’s mandate is to examine migratory birds, such an “error” of nature has to be corrected by making room for the “real” migratory birds and preventing the settled birds from crowding them out. Owing to the ensuing violent attempt at restoring the biological balance – which is declared there and then to be a responsible action – the island gradually loses its original innocence and becomes increasingly similar to the world that the protagonist sought to escape.
The main cooperation partner of this year's OFF Biennale is GfZK – Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. The cooperation project is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.
Special thanks to: Studio Hidegszoba