SOL (Something Once Lost)

Video, 4K, 20.46 Min.

In 1966, a passenger plane crashed into Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe. The Air India plane was named after the 8586 m high Kangchenjunga, Himalayan Mountains, Nepal/India). The explosion spread the wreckage far across the mountain, up to the nearby Glacier des Bossons. In 2019, Kemper collected some of the wreckage on site and stored it in Hamburg. One of these fragments is shown within this work and forms the core.

With an eye on the climate catastrophe taking place, many people fade out the warning of transgression and presumption. Here the attempt is described to translate the figure of Icarus, from the antique mythology into the present. The flight of Icarus ends tragically, despite warnings that he should not fly too close to the sun. The wax holding the wings together begins to melt, causing the structure to break apart.

Like the wax of the wings, the glacier melts, and like the plane at the summit, the ice shatters, revealing the traces of destruction. The installation describes an Icarus of the present in free fall towards the water. The threatening floods of the Mediterranean are replaced by the flight into a partially flooded open-cast coal mine in Germany. In the video, which has been produced together with Johannes Förster, the fall is abstracted, which leads through the ruptured earth and ends in the current water level of the mine. The drone, which scans the area, follows the traces of a river course, which makes its way through an erosion gap. This is inflowing groundwater that is making its way into the original layer depths. At this moment, the visitors of the exhibition literally become the Icarus of the present by looking into the screen lying on the ground and being pulled into the image.

The aluminum of the fragment shown within the installation is polished, but otherwise shown unchanged. On its surface, the space is now vaguely reflected with the other elements of the installation as well as the visitors and connects itself as a machine with humans and nature. The descent and the soundscape, within the video also make a connection to the 1966 Air India flight, which ended abruptly with the impact.

In the title (SOL = Latin “Sun”) the intention is found again, which also brings together all three components of the installation. The desire to recreate something that was once lost. In the case of the airplane accident, the wish of the remains can be meant, their relatives would still be alive and all of us can wish to find back, to nature alienated from us.

Exhibition Views
Video/Wreckpiece (left), Jeewi Lee (center), Fabian Knecht (right)
Verstrickt, Zerbröckelt, curated by Sjusanna Eremjan, Tom Reichstein Contemporary, May 12 – June 24 2023, Hamburg

Not possible without/many thanks to:
Johannes Förster, Director of Photography, Expedition Partner
Matthias Schubert, Sound Design

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