europa: in family (2010)

This installation features a display of objects narrating an episode of family history and the very process of reencounter with an ancestor’s past. A travel documented in a video piece to determine the place of birth of my grand-grandfather. The outcome of this search and compilation of information and memories will be exhibited at the family home for the reunion, for a gaze cast backwards over the past and a rethinking of the present and the future. The exhibition will be on show from August 10th through August 20th 2011. The final work will consist of a series of photographs of the domestic space, transformed into a museum for the opening of the exhibition to the family.

The connection of the family origin with the now-forgotten country of Neutral Moresnet uncovers a meaning which can be applied to the whole of Europe in the sense of an extended family. Measuring barely three square kilometers, this microstate existed from 1816 to 1919 at the heart of Europe and came into being as a result of an agreement between Belgium, Prussia and Holland as a means of preventing its highly coveted zinc spar mines from falling in the hands of the others. This haven of peace was once home and refuge to deserters, miners, engineers, smugglers, businessmen, stateless people, philatelists and defenders of Esperanto. With three different cultures and a single monetary system, for 100 years it nursed the potential of a dream. Erased from the map as soon as its mineral reserves ran out, in a century of destruction, blood and fire, the current research into its memory could well represent a valuable testimony worth treasuring.

Mixed media. Betacam 25 "

Film: Jorgos Loukakos

Acknowledgements: Citycouncils of La Calamine y Kelmis; GlogauAir, Berlin; Göhltal Museum, Neu Moresnet, Laboral Art Centre and Industrial Creation, Duro-Felguera Co.