Joachim Koester «Message from Andrée» 2005.


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Message from Andrée, 2005
film installation Danish Pavillion, Venice Biannual.

Joachim Koester has over the last year worked on the film installation Message from Andrée. Salomon August Andrée was a Swedish polar researcher and adventurer who wished to cross the North Pole in a hot air balloon.

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Unfortunately, the balloon crashed north of Spitsbergen on July 14, 1897, and Andrée with his crew, Nils Strindberg and K. H. F. Frænkel, started an exhausting trek across the pack-ice. Nils Strindberg was the expedition’s photographer and took more than a hundred pictures during their 3 month journey. The negatives were found only 32 years later, when the remains of the expedition were discovered on White Island just off Spitsbergen. Koester has re-photographed these with a 16 mm film camera. The result is an animated film showing the stains etched into Strindberg’s negatives during their Arctic incubation. The film installation does not document what happened in a traditional sense; rather it points to the twilight zone of what can be told and what cannot be told, narrative and non-narrative, document and error. A psychic reality suggested by immaterial “black snow” that appears on the film.

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source: aviation-history.com