Three men of various ages from Sub-Saharan Africa, so-called migrants, visit the Louvre in Paris and study a painting: The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault (1819). The painting is not only, beside the Mona Lisa, the most famous in the Louvre; it also sums um the entire calamity of French colonialism. The failure of the Europeans in face of themselves. Under the flag of the grand nation and the idea of revolution, liberty, and fraternity, people turn into cannibals.

"For this work, I held extensive interviews with the three Africans about their journey, or rather their flight, about their motivation and their lives. They spoke to me about their homesickness, their worries, their fears, and being foreign in their own country. They kept things from me, and were ready to be critical. I took just a few statements from these long discourses and decided not to use them orally, but in writing. They are silent before the monumental image. Sitting at the seashore, dreaming of things far away. But what happens when the far away becomes home? The sea in my work is the sea in front of my home in Ghana that I see everyday. The sea that seems endless, peaceful, then again full of danger. Hope and the homeland, that for me as a German always also means rescue and flight." – Marcel Odenbach

Register (fl//038)

Im Schiffbruch nicht schwimmen können (Foundering, and You Can't Swim)
Marcel Odenbach
2011
10/40+10
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
1920px x 1080px, 8'23"