THE BEAUTIFUL STRANGE LAND (AN TIR ÁLAINN AISTEACH)
HD video. 11:15. 2013.
A languid meditation on the loss of language and its rootedness in land/place. Never seeing the speakers, we listen in as a younger female voice with a U.S. accent, and an older male voice with a strong Irish brogue work together to decipher a written Irish text.
The Irish man has lost (or never had) much of his Irish, and is unable any longer to access the meaning of words in his native tongue. The woman stumbles repeatedly as she strives to replicate the sounds and rhythm which he is still able to speak, but does not understand. In addition to exploring the embeddedness of language in land and work, and the resultant changes in language as the connection between those two is broken, the video probes the positions of power and powerlessness inherent in access to language, history, and memory.
Alternately humorous and poignant, the conversation between the two matches the rhythm of the never-ceasing waves which pull seaweed back and forth in swirling eddies amidst constantly shifting light. The language that has been largely lost to the contemporary Irish is mirrored in the sublimation of its audio record to the mesmerizing beauty presented on the screen.
Filmed in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
With thanks to the Cill Rialaig Artists Retreat, and to Michael Curran.
2015 Transideology: Nostalgia Film Festival. Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan. Curated by Ming Turner
2015 Shorts in the Square. Congress Square Films Portland, ME
2014 Seattle True Independent Film Festival. Seattle, WA
2014 Interstitial Theatre at LxWxH. LxWxH Gallery. Seattle, WA
2013 Trans-ideology Film Festival: Nostalgia. Berlin, Germany. Curated by Ming Turner