POW POW FILM/VIDEO INSTALLATION, 2015 Still of Pow Pow, 2015 Do trees, plants, leaves, rivers, waterfalls, the sky, the earth, stones and rocks have a
„Urgent Care Of Identity“
27.03.2015 – 19.04.2015
Pow Pow, 2015
Two-screen video installation
Courtesy Patrick Alan Banfield
Do trees, plants, leaves, rivers, waterfalls, the sky, earth, stones and rocks have nationalities? Patrick Alan Banfield travelled 8,000 km across Canada to film nature while asking himself this question. this question. The Canadian forests are similar to those of Germany and New Zealand. Banfield tells us, „(They) are all alive and animated. They exist. And they talk to us. We communicate“, and this communication transcends languages and nationality. It is the communication of beings. However, it is not difficult to see the bloody control of power throughout history, beginning with the American colonies, when Native Americans were forcibly removed from their lands or murdered, and territory and nature were put in terms of national resources. Today, although the national flags and armies of Britain are no longer present in North America as territorial markers, paradoxical cultures and ideologies still exist in this vast landscape. In political and cultural regimes, even nature is identified as dependent on nations, giving rise to artificial and political identities.
Patrick Alan Banfield’s film shows remarkable Canadi- an landscapes, referring to American colonial history, specifically, the period when the native people were robbed of their resources and freedom. Patrick Alan Banfield used cameras to talk with trees, plants, water, rocks, and other things. This technique and aesthet- ic is similar to ‘new topographics’, because it follows the new objective aesthetic characterized by a calm, cold, distant view, gazing neutrally at landscapes, genre scenes and modernized activity. While the ‘new topographics’ aesthetic presents a straightforward gaze of power, Patrick Alan Banfield takes a different perspective, making less distance between nature and the camera, and allowing his shots to gently talk with nature with the conviction that nature is more complex and wise than humans.
Text by Louis Hothothot