Excerpt: Mayday (2020) – looping HD video
The impetus for this project was triggered by the corona-virus global pandemic. On May first 2020, as we entered our second month of lockdown, I was thinking about both the irony and appropriateness of the various associations for the word “mayday”.
Mayday, the ancient Festival of Spring, is celebrated on May first. It is thought of as a time of re-birth. Mayday is also recognized as International Workers Day in support of labour rights. And, “mayday” is a distress call. In the early days of the pandemic all of humanity was in distress with essential workers on the frontlines and re-birth took the shape of “the new normal”.
While alone in isolation, I was remembering situations that I had previously taken for granted, like wading through crowds of people on the streets of Berlin during the past Mayday celebrations. At the same time I desired time outside in the landscape.
In this video project, I present footage of the mayday crowds as fence pickets or perhaps prison bars. Through the bars, as if in a hallucination, we see visions of a world lost in time, but it is unclear which side of the fence we are on.
Ultimately, “Mayday” reflects on the relationship we humans have with each other and the world we inhabit.