The history of the 21st century will be written on water. As sea levels continue to rise, the sea becomes our new desert. Paul Virilio (1) recently announced the “end of geography”, meaning that time (history) won over space. Time is now on top of space, as the sea sits on the surface of the earth.
For Desert Islands, the surface of the sea is fractured as if reflected from on the surface of 100 engraved mirrors. Each mirror frames one island and its geographical coordinates. Following a few years of research started in 2008, we have selected 100 + 1 islands that present a global laboratory of major human action and experimentation, ranging from utopian communities, a fiscal paradise, military spheres, clandestine migrations, ecosystems, and exclusive leisure. These 100 + 1 islands serve as a new reference, not only for the desires but also the fears and secrets of our time. Most of them are invisible components yet key elements to serve the global political and economic systems. For example, Nauru, whose vote at the UN is often conveyed by the US or Australian governments.
In addition to the 100 mirrors, the exhibition will comprises Domesticated Island – in this context Singapore Island - that will include various seating areas, a table, an exotic plant, and a small cubic monitor that visitors can appropriate to watch Island is Land. A two channel video, Island Is Land, looks to Gilles Deleuze’s (2) seminal text Desert Islands as an initial point of reference for the work. The island is topped with a resplendent palm tree, in reference to the continuous effort to enhance the landscape of the territory, and that serves as a landmark in the show.
(1) Paul Virilio, The Original Accident, Cambridge, Polity, 2007.
(2) Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974), Los Angeles, Semiotext(e), 2004.