Excerpt from Memorial drive / Video 7:27 min, 2009
Memorial Drive is a diaporama made of fake Google Street View images: city highways, industrial wastelands, desert fields, bland and meaningless places mostly.
Some of the slides of the video are “street views” that we shot from the car during a Texas road-trip we did in 1997, i.e. long before Google Maps services were available. Ten years later, Google Maps allowed us to geographically locate the photos we had taken during that journey. We realized that we had come through numerous places of which had no memories. Searching Google Street View in order to find matches of our footage was a time-consuming task, because we often had no clue of where to start searching. Also, there had been major changes in the landscape (especially in Dallas) within the time-lapse 1997/2007, so that our "street views" were no longer up to date.
Other pictures composing the diaporama were obtained by photomontage. Our goal was to recreate images of sites or road sections of which we knew that we had passed through in 1997, but of which we did not have any photographic evidence. We used fragments of our own travel archives to create those photomontages. The similarity between our reconstructed and the genuine Street Views is of course quite approximate and superficial. What they have in common is sometimes not more than a graffiti-covered industrial warehouse, a highway ramp, a parking lot, a scrapyard, or simply a fragment of the blue sky, a desert landscape... Anyway, the desert along the endless roads of West Texas (at least on Google Street View, in low resolution, as was the case in 2007-2009) seems invariant for hundreds of miles. Any desert image we had in our archive could thus be mentioned arbitrarily: US-90, Marfa, TX 79843, or Ranch Road 170, Terlingua TX 79852, or whatever.
The soundtrack draws on recordings of the Apollo 8 mission. While in orbit around the moon on December 24, 1968, the crew commented live the Earth seen from space. The description of the moon given by Commander James Lowell at that occasion echoes with the world view reflected by our Google Street View pastiche: "it looks like a vast, lonely, forbidding type existence, great expanse of nothing ......., and it certainly would not appear to be a very inviting place to live or work".
Installation views at Nosbaum Reding Art Contemporain, Luxembourg, 2009
Memorial drive has been presented by the Nosbaum-Reding Art Contemporain Gallery, Luxembourg, in 2009 and subsequently at the Rencontres Internationales Paris-Berlin-Madrid (with screenings at Centre Pompidou, Paris, Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin) as well as Beirut Art Center (“Expecting the Images Part 2. Re-enactment”: Carte Blanche to the Rencontres Internationales) in 2010-2011.
Copyright © All Rights Reserved
Images and concept © Carine and Elisabeth Krecké 2009
Installation views © NOSBAUM-REDING ART CONTEMORAIN 2009