BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 2004-2006
MUSIC: Susana Baca
COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Norway
LENGTH: 7 min 14 sec
Limited Edition DVD – Abaca
Editions: #2-10 of 10
Between Heaven and Earth was originally inspired by my experiences exploring the Fjörds, a large, mountainous region in Central Western Norway. Attracted by these natural mysteries, I learned about a community of inhabitants that live within the crevices of the mountain peaks. Since these people live very high in the mountains, it was impossible for me to communicate directly with them. However, the natives who lived at the base were able to relate wonderful stories of extraordinary living conditions, which further triggered my imagination concerning the existence that they have with their surroundings. In the presence of that landscape, a desire was born to share their experiences. I became fascinated with the way those people live, how they respond to an environment that often threatens avalanches and how younger generations cope with, or revolt against, the hardships of their parents’ chosen life. If all the young people left, the place would eventually become “empty.” Although my work is based on a specific geographic location and its inhabitants, the concepts of attraction, loss and the feelings generated by a particular environment are very universal. As I worked on this video, I became unable to ignore the parallels I saw with the living environments around me in New York. Specifically I focused on the public housing projects of the city. I found important social and economic themes rising from the common images of the Fjords and of the high rises. The uncomfortable environmental conditions endured by living at these elevations, and the separation of a group of people from the surrounding community. From this isolation and difficulty has arisen strong community, which is always threatened by the movement of the youth. In addition to the commonalities between these two subcultures, the differences are striking. One life is entirely of the land, the other entirely of civilization, and the hardships of each life differ along this line. The soundtrack was recorded by singer Susana Baca specifically for this installation. Through this video, I explore the parallel stories of these two communities, and try to express my feelings of wonder at lifestyles that I will never be able to fully understand.
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