Obsolete Terrain – Towards a Simple Talk in Utopia

2021 | video installation

In the video installation Obsolete Terrain, which is part of the work series A Simple Talk in Utopia, four performers on several screens play characters that hang out in an abandoned site somewhere in the green fields. As they discuss an apple tree in the distance, their views on nature and ecological values are drawn out through their conversations while the performers each take turns in these roles, re-enacting the scenes again and again. In this network of opinions and perspectives, the spectator enters the installation as another part of this social circle and encounters, both the characters’ diverging views and their own. 

Blurring the lines between time, space and personhood, Suzan Noesen here foregrounds how such roles are constructed and unfold within the group dynamic. As each performer switches character, the reiteration of scenes evolves into the interaction of diverse and ambiguous types: the militant ecologist, the romantic, the pragmatic or the entrepreneur. Obsolete Terrain approaches the current ecological crisis as a social body, which serves as a starting point towards a new consciousness of nature and the human. All the while, the apple tree, caught between its cultural and agricultural history, remains firmly at the centre of the work, transforming under the pressure of this society of characters. 

Cast Céline Camara, Fábio Godinho, Julie Kieffer, Philippe Meyrer
Production and Direction Assistant Alix Andries
Cinematographer  Olivier Koos
Camera Assistant Alais Folny
Sound Tom Biren
Location Manager: Frederico Majerus
Costume advising: Laurence Streitz
Editing advising Anne Schiltz
Technical installation concept and construction Frank Meiers – Amplitude
Video research and Production with the support of Ministère de la Culture, Luxembourg
Installation production with the support of  Rotondes / Casino Luxembourg

Links: Exhibition Brave New World Order at Rotondes/Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain