No Words

2013
Video installation, colour, moving image
16 min, 16:9
Unique

This video installation is a result of my art residency in Hastings (GB,) and Dunkerque (F), as part of Ici et là – Here and there en Les Grands Magasins, a trans-border and international art project that invited 1 artist of 7 port cities of Europe for Dunkerque 2013 (DK13, Capitale régionale de la culture). On that occasion I made two video installations, each part of my project that was inspired by the migration from France to the UK. This extreme situation of refugees and asylum seekers hiding themselves and trying to cross the Channel on one side, and yet arrived on the other side, presented me with an opportunity to continue with the ongoing process to intimately investigate the complex relations that people maintain with objects, identity and loss, fragility and (in)stability. The other video is Surrounding Water.

In the video No Words images of ‘ice houses’, a refugee camp and the big port come together. The ice houses are inspired by the cabanes of prefab material of a refugee camp, that I visited regularly. These refugee camps were built by the city of Dunkerque, a poignant reflection of the struggle and impotence of our society with this issue. I also felt een inability to use words/voices in my film and I don’t want to give answers in my project. This is the reason of the title.
In addition to the video installation, I performed an action during the opening day on the central square of the city, Place Jean Bart, flyering a poetic protest pamflet near to the reinstalled ice houses.

See the video here (key: Dunkirk)

Photos and stills Bie Michels