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Artists showing works at ramfoundation
Sol Archer (NLD)

Archer primarily works with the moving image, building a co-extensive space where the intersections of global and local narratives reveal themselves in the residues left in bodies and spaces. The images, memories and records of people on whom these overlaps settle in the form of event, trauma or change become story, where the teleologies of nation, war, trade, technology, progress, and peace reconstitute the local microcosm, and how the impossibility of picturing this sublime difference of scale can be represented.

Commandeering tropes and techniques from documentary, and the aesthetics through which these techniques make questionable claims to truthfulness; the appeal to archive, the ‘talking head’ interview, the roaming ‘observational mode’ of cinéma vérité, the journalistic address to camera, and the instrumentalisation of conversation as a site of production. With editing manoeuvres of musical pacing, black slug, and the material qualities of digital editing Archer corrupts these techniques and chronologies to focus on the poesis of film, the construction of memory and the making material of systems of power.

If, for example in Death comes Home to Farm, 2014, a nuclear bomber falls from the sky and destroys your home with you in it, what does that singular trauma become and how does it continue to perpetuate, sustained in memory, in telling, in scars on the body, in transmission to your children and your children’s children. The way it metastasises through a community; village, town, family and how it articulates against the record made at the time. In ‘Death comes Home to Farm’, against the military inquest, and contemporaneous eyewitness accounts made within days of the crash with the technical requirements of the official register, privileging the seen, the chronological, the mechanical, and the subdued tones of legal, military, and engineering language.

Dispatches from Futureland is a situational study of the inhuman scale and constructed spectacle of international industrial sites, and the theatrical spectacle of unionised demonstration against it. The film operates in the future orientated a-temporality, and science fiction influenced aesthetic of capitalist futurism.
Rotterdam has the largest port in Europe, carrying five hundred millions tonnes of cargo per year, with the labour of only two thousand four hundred workers. In the delta of the Maas river a huge area of new land is under construction to house fully automated terminals, removing human bodies from the corridors of transit. At the heart of the Maasvlakte is Futureland, a tourist visitor centre.
Dispatches from Futureland follows an abstract cycle, in which a woman playfully leads us through the desolate peripheries of the docks, climbing on partly installed infrastructure; possibly a guide; possibly an estate agent; possibly a tourist; possibly looking for traces of life. A couple operate an immersive flight simulator, flying over the completed project in 2033, machinery operates without human intervention, tourist boats and busses glide through the harbours. Police and dock workers stand off against one another, both sides filming and photographing everything, all while the algorythmic ballet of container transit continues day and night.

Works by Sol Archer
Born of Concentration (2015)
Video Room
Dispatches from Futureland - 2015
HD Video - 26 minutes (30 minutes with leader)
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