/project

Hospitality

 

Faces appear on and behind transparent blocks. If you listen, you will learn that these people are military personnel who have served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq or Afghanistan. They speak of how their physical and mental health suffered during their service. Some are sure to die of cancer, prematurely. You learn about their children, who suffer from birth defects or serious illnesses. In numerous interviews, subjects tell the artist about the effects of uranium ammunition. The technology is designed to penetrate massive armor; nano-particles thus released attach themselves to human cells, changing their structure. As they answer the artist’s questions, these people know that their bodies are going through a constant and aggressive transformation.

Bogomir Doringer has shifted the invisible physical changes to the external world, in the form of a sculpture made of ferrofluid, a highly magnetic liquid. It changes before the eyes of the public, and leads us inevitably to thoughts of what cannot be perceived: terrible, unseen physical changes.
In his installation, Bogomir Doringer stages this scenario of latent threat, this paranoid atmosphere that has long ago taken over body and soul. The translucent screen actually even reveals ghosts, the so-called undead who report back from that intermediate realm, a place from which they may no longer escape. The artist is loath to convey the recounted horror through images, which tend to curdle into visual clichés. He prefers to tap into the power of uncanniness, a presence that only arises in the imagination, as a hint of the real terrors that exist in this world.

Text by:
Brigitte Felderer
(The Digital Uncanny / Das Digitale Unheimliche)
ISBN 97803-86895-228-5

 

 

The psychological and physical state of military personnel changes drastically after returning from overseas missions (Gulf, Balkan, Iraq, Afghanistan etc.). The symptoms that they “host” are recognizable to medical experts as various forms of cancer. However sudden increases in incidences and mutations are causing doubts as to the nature of their illness and its causes, thus creating uncertainty and distrust.
Victims sink into a state of limbo similar to that experienced by those living in the war zones the soldiers just left. In this state they wander alone in silence, expecting a solution to, or an explanation for their health problems, or death itself. In the media, the “horror” experienced is known as Balkan Syndrome or Gulf Syndrome and the cause of the health-related problems is linked to the use of weapons containing depleted uranium (DU), as well as to the presence of invisible nanoparticles in the atmosphere, which penetrate the victim’s body.
In the exhibition space, victims together with a unique collection of biopsy samples are ‘hosted’ by the ferrofluid sculpture* that transforms its shape in front of the audience.
This project examines the relationship between fiction and reality, questioning the intention of “hospitality”** and the responsibility of those who offer it. We are uninformed “hosts” exposing our bodies and minds to an aggressive transformation.

* Ferrofluid is a liquid that becomes highly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. It is used in medicine to detect cancer but also serves as a means to camouflage military objects.

** The word hospitality is derived from the Latin word hospes, which is formed from hostis, which originally meant 'to have power'. The word host comes from the Old French word hoiste, which in turn is from the Latin word hostia meaning ‘sacrificial victim’. In biology, it is a term for an animal or plant on or in which a parasite or commensal organism lives.Text from:

IDFA doc Lab 2011

 

CREDITS:

Cinematography
Ben Geraerts

Screenplay:
Bogomir Doringer

Irene ter Stege

Editing:
Jelena Rosic

Sound:
Bogomir Doringer
Slobodan Bajic

Production:
Bogomir Doringer
Irene ter Stege 

 

Software development: 

Mirko Lazovic

 

Hospitality, installation documentation projection on an epoxy block
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 © Bogomir Doringer 2016