relics

7-channel video installation
7 Videoloops projected onto corten steel 200x250cm
Footage from the archives of the Schleswig-Holstein explosive ordnance disposal and the German Federal Armed Forces
2017

 


Seven seas. Water links all continents. Silent, almost picturesque; for a moment the serenity of the blue planet envelopes the viewer, which stands in the water that laps around his neck. The ocean depth begins to seethe. The explosion of the sea mines force up colossal fountains. The cacophony of sounds forms into a bizarre symphony. Finally, after an imperceptible number of detonations, calm reclaims the expanse of sea.


1.6 million Tonnes of munitions from 2 world wars contaminate sites around the German coast: sea mines, bombs and ammunition accidentally dropped by the British and Germans. Objects of war awaiting the destruction of others and their own. More than 70 years on since the final shot of the Second World War was fired its scars have still not faded. Toxic substances dissipate from the corroding war machines as they are reclaimed by the salty waters. To defuse and recover the mines and bombs is becoming more risky as the scrap of war rusts. The ticking bomb, subject only to time. The 7-channel video installation „relics“, bears witness to controlled explosions of contaminated sites. Corten steel serves as a projection surface, alluding to rusting bomb shells, contrasting the balletic fountains as they rise up inside the heptagon.


The 21st century saw the rise of a different kind of conflict. No longer restricted to the battlefield, terrorists reach to the heart of  all nations.  Unbalancing the fabric of societies around the world.. it is only a matter of time before the next explosion of violence discharges from its dormancy. Every new war gifts a similar legacy with resonance to echo through generations and shape the next cycle of waste. It is a time which revels in the power of chaos, immense economic rewards for equipment of countries with such awesome expressions of mans command over physical chains. In such a time an aesthetic portrayal of violence should raise the question of the attractive force of a war. The splendour of a detonation! So too revealing the hidden, uncanny power of its source below the surface. In the course of the tides, new space is created to observe the depths of human awareness for our heritage.
 

 © 2019 by Anna Baranowski

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