Video: Cordon Sanitaire.
material: epoxy, metal, video projector, video projection on wall, 6 channel surround sound.
dimensions: 240 x 500 x 500 cm
Credits: Caspar Berger
Sound design: Huibert Boon
Video installation corona 2020
The installation Cordon Sanitaire consists of three 'Foedralen' (custom made suitcases), a video projection and a surround sound image. In the black cases one can recognize a traditional arrangement used for a press conference: a lectern for the speaker and two flags defining the identity of the speaker.
European Union 27 Corona Speeches
The video projection, projected on the wall behind the lectern simultaneously shows 27 speeches held by the 27 responsible presidents and prime ministers of the 27 countries affiliated with the European Union. The similarity of the 27 speeches is their content, namely that during their speech, the 27 speakers officially inform their own people for the first time about the corona pandemic. These are, so to speak, exceptional speeches in which the authorities address their nations.
The speeches start one after another, just as the virus has spread in Europe. The surround sound image accompanies their introduction along the way and overwhelm the viewer. The first speeches can still be understood audibly, but soon, due to the increasing number of speakers, it is only by occasion that specific voices can be heard; they are lifted up out of the crowd to be understood only for a short moment in time.
Here we witness a union in which each member, under the pressure of a global crisis, chooses his/her own identity, putting the customs of their own country before that of the central role of the European Union. Cordon Sanitaire raises the question about this Babylonian confusion of tongues, asking us how our local identity relates to the complexity and functionality of the construction of the European Union.