ONE THOUSAND AND TWO
ONE THOUSAND AND TWO, SOUTH OR SOUTHWESTERLY, MOVING STEADILY EAST AND LOSING ITS IDENTITY
David Gibbs and Elaine Ho, split-screen DV-PAL, 2004, approx.36 minutes.
In the certainty of statelessness, the construction of uncertainties.
This visual document attempts to reveal the distant and ambiguous parallels between two gas stations near the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, and the unresolved statuse of inhabitants of an asylum seekers’ center in Middelburg, Holland. As outlined by the shipping forcasts from which the title is taken, destination is not always the best distinguishing marker of transit. Place is a nebulous identity rather then a fixed point, even in spite of the increasingly pre-packaged and constructed environs designed for our contemporary society of convenience. It is in fact, we discover, amidst the most banally articulated structures that we find the cracks in the system through which we trace the routes of those displaced and without legal right of passage. The enormous disjunction becomes also a paradox of time, for it is perhaps the culture of expediency that can for the refugee turn moments into years, or a supposedly temporary center into a mental condition.