Ile Aux Serpents

Ile Aux Serpents

This film is the central work of the Paradise Fallen cycle. It was begun in April 2017 while I was present at the Chimurenga-led RAW Academy at the RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal.

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

The work is triggered by the landscape around the Dakar peninsula and catalysed by thinking through the Islands of Ngor, Goree and especially Île de la Madeleine (or L’île au Sarpan as it is sometimes also called).

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

The ocean and the land meet on this coastline in ways that enact a dramatic and tantalising allusion to mythology, narratives, histories and forms that momentarily appear, emerge and recede. The tension in the work is between elemental forms and transitions, of desire, yearning, pain, loss and regret.

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

The voice over, of an undefined character, narrates the desire and conflict of a series of events that occurred on an island some time in the past.

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

The compulsion for return is disturbed by the recognition that a return will lead to the total obliteration of the narrator’s self.

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

During a residency in January/February 2018, I revisited many of the places I had begun filming in 2017, and also revised and rewrote the script that was the basis for much of this photographic exploration. The result of this is a kind of video essay, located within an installation form, that attempts to tease out and court an encounter with the terror that lurks beneath the landscape.

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

The film should be shown in a large space. The space would be empty, perhaps with one long bench. The projection and audio would work to immerse the viewer in the landscape.

Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

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Ile Aux Serpents , film still , 2018

Excerpt from conversation following screening at RAW Material Company, Dakar, Senegal.
Zen Marie with translation by Youssoupha Sarr
February 2018