EMMANUELLE BAYART

fr / en

OBJECT A, 2014
Sawed boat, reproductions of a post card, Sound Installation, 1,5 x 1,5 x 2 m

The sound installation consists of a stretched version of the hymne "Nearer My God To Thee", which, according to a legend, was played by the orchestra during the sinking of the Titanic, Sound of water, the voice of the actor Cédric Djedje, reciting the Text "Landscape with Argonauts" of Heiner Müller, and the recording of the conversation of the captaine of the cruise liner "Costa Concordia", Franceso Schettino, and his superior, Gregorio De Falco, during the sinking of the "Costa Concordia".

Video of the installation

Notes about the Installation from Timo Kirez
In the novel "The sheltering sky" of Paul Bowles, adapted for the cinema by Bernardo Bertolucci in 1990, Port, one of the protagonistes in the novel, says in the beginning of the story : "A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive. Whereas a traveler might not come back at all." Even if we can’t always draw a clear line between traveller and tourist, the distinction between these two gives us the opportunity to approach the topic in a different maner. The installation "Object a" visualises what we call in french "Naufrage", which in french can mean "sinking of a boat", but as well "failure" in a larger sense. And "failure" is one of the key words in the essay "A theory of Tourism" of Hans Magnus Enzensberger of the year 1958, where Enzensberger talks, besides other topics, as well about the "failure" of the tourist to escape the discipline of an industrialised society, no matter how hard he tries. If we go on with this association, the desir to escape brings us on one hand to the 19th century and it’s romanticism and on the other to the "Object a" of Jacques Lacan. "Object a", or, to be precise, "Object small a", stands for the unattainable object of desire. Unattainable because we are born in into a "condition of lack", after Lacan. Probably, a traveler, contrary to a tourist, could overcome this "condition of lack" by rejecting radically the rules and conditions of an economised society. The tourist stays trapped in the economical domination of his life, even he goes on holidays, as tourism is a business as any other business. We could even say that tourism is a "mass business", standardised like the postcards used for our installation. All these thoughts and associations have driven us towards this installation. It seems that travelling stays a topic closer to fantasy than reality.