Grids are used everywhere: Cartographers use grids to provide orientation, investigators use grids to find suspects, surveyors put them across a landscape and in communication, too, we use grids to classify people and social fabrics. All these activities have one thing in common: We want to conceive, understand and explain the world in order to find orientation.
The “Grid” project exactly uses these elements both playfully and systematically. It makes places of a city visible, but the method of realization is questioned.
In 2018, the European Union has 27 member states. One member state has just left and conflicts with other member states are flaring up. There seems to be a re-mapping and a re-classification. For many years people sought open borders, but now these borders all along and within the EU should become visible again.
The capital of each country will be videotaped. They are in the “cross hairs” of the GRID. How long will these places exist in a community that is subject to constant change but doesn’t want to change?
100 places of each city will be videotaped. Although these places seem to be randomly selected there is an underlying strict arrangement. There is a predefining invisible grid. The actors systematically designate one place each in a grid square. All charted places are equivalent and equally ranking.
THE SIGN SYSTEM
The actors use a symbolic language that is similar to sign language.
For those who don’t know the symbols they will always be gestures attracting permanent attention and remaining mysterious. By trying to decipher them it may lead to understanding them, or maybe not.
DANCE AS A MEDIUM
Dance is a universal medium of communication. Dance expresses feelings, and uses the choreography and given constellations to make social interaction and social fabrics visible. Dance is something individual. Therefore, dance is the perfect medium to portray places: Each dancer keeps his/her individual expression thus taking account of the diversity of all human beings. Each spectator can potentially understand the expressions as the dancing movement goes beyond clearly defined signs. The arrangement of the dancers in the films clearly shows that they have the ability to capture and to portray - in many ways in a manifold Europe. However, with which legitimacy? It is anyone’s guess.
An imaginary network is laid across the city. In each grid square a place is selected. At each place a film is made: The camera captures a clearly defined clip, the shot needs no adjustment. Actors appear and disappear. Based on a sign system they designate the area, showing longitude and latitude of the place they are at the moment.
PRESENTATION OF THE VIDEOS
With the use of a beamer, the films will be shown publically on the façades.
THE IDEA BEHIND IT
GRID maps the city. Gracefully, playfully, staged. GRID records the city. Each place can be found again. It is very transparent. However, the transparency remains ambivalent. Only those persons who think they understand the ambiguous sign system can find orientation in the world, right?
The grid method remains just as ambivalent, too. Only those points in the grid square that are looked at, are visible. Whoever falls through the grid or slips through it, remains invisible. It remains a fragmentary attempt in comprehending that finds itself subject to constant change.
The intention is to put a wide-meshed grid across Europe. At the end there is the “world in the grid”. And particularly because GRID uses sign systems that are for almost everybody incomprehensible, everybody can understand it - as a visual impression showing places in Europe and all over the world and questioning realization as such.
The protagonists in the films are dancers who visually dance a symbolic network of capital cities.