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Films in this programme

#089 MAPPING THE FORGOTTEN SPACES

Can we show Geopolitics on a map?
This programme was created by Doğasu Şitil as part of her internship in 2020

Since the scientific developments that came along with the Enlightenment, cartographers have been representing and visualizing spatial territories through maps that are based on precise calculations. Today, we still navigate our spatio-temporal position in the world through these maps, yet in slightly advanced forms. Instead of an accurate representation, what we actually see on these maps, however, is an abstract and distorted form of reality as it is impossible to accurately depict the complexity and wholeness of topographic structures on flat surfaces.

In the postmodern world that we are living in, globalisation has overshadowed the notion of sovereign states in which all citizens are united by the cultural factors that define their nation. Instead, it has led to the emergence of what critics call ‘hyperspace’; a global space in which the materiality of strenuous labour and production is concealed behind online transactions. Reliance on our current geospatial technologies to portray these perspectives is, however, nothing but a ‘ludic fallacy’. 

Based on the philosopher Frederic Jameson’s concept of ‘cognitive mapping’, this programme invites us to draw a more tangible picture of the social totality of globalisation by navigating some of the irreconcilable contradictions lying between local narratives and the global totality. From the transportation of commodified bodies across nations to loss of identity to marginalisation of labour, the artworks in this selection bring the unmappable complexity of urban landscapes to the surface.

 

Films in this programme

The Romanians (Live Like a King)
Heidrun Holzfeind
(AT 2002, 14:01 min)
Holzfeind’s documentary style video artwork addresses the wider social and political phenomena of globalisation by diving into the...
River
Mike Stubbs
(UK 2000, 14:40 min)
In this video installation, Stubbs strikingly juxtaposes multi-layered spaces of the British city Hull in the face of regeneration...
Black Sea Files
Ursula Biemann
(CH 2005, 43:51 min)
In this video, Biemann sees Black Sea as not merely a geographical location but a geo-political space in which transnational oil...