Orphan Lands, 2003
Super 16mm film transferred to HD video, 7 minute loop. Installation in an 9'x 18' insulated environment. Cast aluminum landscape model 30"x 30". Exhibited at the 8th Havana Biennale, Cuba; The Greatest Show On Earth, Metropole Gallery, Folkestone, United Kingdom.
An area of land is sealed off for mysterious reasons and becomes a metaphor for a contaminated body, both radiated in similar biochemical processes.
The camera pans across a scarred landscape of total desolation, an unwanted space tainted by the residue of nuclear fallout. The land has been desecrated revealing a gaping wound that will continue to fester for two hundred thousand years. These biochemical processes erode the surface but underneath their histories lie intact. Both land and body are fouled, deprived of their former beauty.
“As if she were describing this vacuum of identifiable power, pointing out an enclosed piece of landscape to me, Lee said, these are called orphan lands. The phrase had originated among local people to name those parts of what had been public ground, now mysteriously sealed off by some agency...”
- Susan Griffin, A Chorus of Stones - The Private Life of War
A cast aluminum landscape (above image) was used in the film.
A three minute audio excerpt from the film. Recored at Angell Sound studios in London, United Kingdom. www.angellsound.com. Narration by Tamsin Griffin.