Lucie Rosenfeldová
Restlessness of Property


Date: 13.06.2017 — 09.07.2017

It is always a long journey across the ocean. One can travel the boundless water area for days without any change on the horizon. An objective distance between geographic points on two different continents does not change with shifting political events. Some things do gradually change though. There are changes, that had enabled us to be close with those who live on another continent. We can visit each other frequently, see each other on screens, share our experiences immediately.

So it seems the distance had been bereft of its cogency. As if the opposition of proximity and distance pertains to the old world where the order is that of the land – a terran order. Such an order was to a large extent related to a strong connection with a particular place. History, family affiliation and one’s own identity often relates to it. But what does happen to one’s identity should he/she loose this rootage?

The centerpiece of Lucie Rosenfeldová’s video is a field owned by her aunt. The story of the land is linked closely with aunt’s emigration to the USA in the eighties. It meant not only to abandon her country but also to forfeit all property that has been confiscated after her departure. After the death of aunt’s father the inherited field had become both symbolic and objective property that connected her with the place she had been separated from for many years.

Lucie Rosenfeldová has decided for her video to explore the different forms of an ownership and identities formed by relationship with a location. The disputes that arose between the author and her relative stem from, among other things, different experiences from various periods and different means by which one can relate to the ownership of a land. Rosenfeldová bought a data package from the Czech Cadastral Office, that showed basic parameters and rough character of the landscape based on measured height points. The data cloud is formed into a sort of a map that corresponds to the original landscape scan taken from an aircraft. It is possible to recognize the basic plasticity of the surface in the 3D model. The details such as flora and architecture are distorted and thus the relief associates an imaginary landscape rather than exact model. Two geographic moments meet in this graphic form and through them we can observe the relationship the main protagonist has with the private ownership of a location. The first is a part of a town she had lived in before the emigration and the second is the field that her aunt recently acquired by the means of heirship.

Although the video does work with documentary elements, in the end it does not tell so much about the figure of the aunt and her wish for a land ownership. It is rather an audiovisual interpretation of such a desire. Lucie Rosenfeldová grasps this desire anew by the rules of digital order, that takes the individual away from the material world to cluster data operations – a cloud. On the occasion of a new interpretation, the old model of ownership is reevaluated. Terran order, however, returns to its contemporaneousness in its inexperience and legitimizes the desire for a private ownership. In the interviews with the aunt, the author reveals paradoxes of the present, where the old order is being applied along with the new one. Looking at the digital revolution, one can not forget that the body is increasingly attracted by the gravity of the terran order. The “sensual” camera shots, seen in the film, that trace the shaky motion of the cameraman can be perceived in such a way.

We can not forget the place of identification that is directly connected with the real soil and believe in the vision of the digital interface, in which there seem to be no such power relations as are taking place in matters of corporeal property. On the contrary, the issue of terran order belongs to one of Lucie Rosenfeldová’s main reports. Since the ocean is also merely pretending its non-hierarchical face. In fact, the ocean is also subject to ownership and policy rules, as is the case of land.

Curators: Alžběta Bačíková and Anna Remešová