Elizabeth McTernan: Altitude Sickness
Film screening: Andrei Ujica’s 1995 film, „Out of the Present.”
Samstag 22. Oktober 2016, 20 Uhr (open from 19h)
|In conjunction with Elizabeth McTernan’s solo exhibition „Altitude Sickness,“ the location is screening Andrei Ujica’s 1995 film, „Out of the Present.” This documentary deals with the prolonged stay of the Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev aboard Mir space station, from where he witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union. This was the first time a 35 mm film camera was used in space. The film itself is 92 minutes long, the same time it took Mir to make one orbit around the Earth.
The screening is being held parallel to Elizabeth McTernan’s exhibition as an element of paratext, further connecting her work to concepts of the metageophysical, the “invention” of outer space, extraterrestrial weightlessness as it relates to the Information Age and the virtual realm, and collapse – whether cartographic, physical, political, or historical. Also, she really loves this film and is happy to share it.
A: I don’t want to go to outer space. I like it here.
B: We’re just visitors here.
Then it came. This must be what it feels like to touch the ceiling. It was the nausea of the body, a violent revolt of the flesh against the leaving. There was a lot of vomiting.
The monsoon was at its end. We were walking up the mountain, walking to where the air and vegetation thins, walking to where it is harder to be, to that invisible line where humans can no longer exist in simple flesh and bone. We were walking to outer space. I had recently been living at the Baltic Sea. By coming here, I wanted to traverse the lived human interval between sea level and outer space, to climb to the roof of the world and touch the ceiling. The high altitude made it impossible to think. I told Luke I had to go throw up again. He teased me, Isn’t this what you wanted?
At the monastery, I was told I’d better descend. The young monks were playing volleyball. The ball clapped against hands and earth in a whir of orange: up, down, up, down, up, down, up… Walking down the mountain, gravity jumped up to meet me with every step. Hello! The thickening air started to feel like soup in my lungs. I was hungry again. I thought about Snickers. Peas and rocks peppered the road, having been tossed from bounding trucks. We ate the dirty peas. I thought about cosmonauts coming back down to Earth after long missions above, and putting their faces on the ground. After holding the whole Earth in their eyes, they blind themselves with the soil.
Why do Earthlings dream of leaving? Why do we crave the outside, the escape from gravity? What lies outside but erasure? As we run the Earth into ruin, they say there’s always Mars. But I don’t want to go to Mars. I like it here on Earth. There’s Snickers here.
— Excerpted from “Walking to Outer Space,” Elizabeth McTernan, 2016
Altitude Sickness, Elizabeth McTernan’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, presents a body of work made over the last two years, spanning Germany, Lithuania, Finland, and the Indian Himalayas. Her artistic research of landscape is performed worldwide in the form of actions, drawing, video/audio installation, storytelling, printmaking, and artist books. She is based in Berlin. More at www.astheworldtilts.com
22. Oktober: Film screening, “Out of the Present,” Andrei Ujică
5. November: Listening session, “Altitude Sickness: Asteroids and Angels (and the Weight of the World)”
August 2017: All cats are gray in the dark: A philosophical expedition to the Dark Sky Reserve, in collaboration with curator/researcher Desiree Foerst
On view by appointment: 16. Oktober – 13. November 2016
U-Bhf Leinestraße / S & U-Bhf Hermannstraße