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From Here to The Black Sea
Unni Gjertsen

From Here to The Black Sea is a meditation on the geographical landscape of the Cold War. The level of conflict between the West and the East increased in 2014, and an old ghost came to the surface. We follow the perspective of dancer Mariko Miyata, who is too young to remember the atmosphere during the Cold War. In the opening scene she reads from the short story ‘Moscow’ by Dag Solstad and is seduced by it’s wild notions of life behind The Iron Curtain in the sixties.

Parallel to this there is an interview with Erna Duesund, a former employee at the air traffic control tower at Bodø Airport in Northern Norway. She remembers NATO’s activities in the region, and the feeling of a threat coming from The East. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the language changed. Erna describes the occurrence of new and beautiful names such as Belarus and Moldavia and also shares her fascination for the Vikings who travelled the rivers, crossed the Black Sea, and arrived in Konstantinopel.

Meanwhile the dancer writes a map on the floor, and moves her body across the borders to the sound of the percussionist Arnfinn Bergrabb who plays on a jet motor at The Norwegian Airforce Museum. The film is about perceptions of geography and how they change over time. The film was made through dance improvisation, and experimentations with storytelling.

Keywords Dance , Essay, Documentary, Power, Sound
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:12:53
Language Norwegian
Color Color
Sound Stereo
Year 2020
Latest screening Nov 15, 2021
May 16, 2020
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About the artist

Unni Gjertsen

Unni Gjertsen (b. 1966 Norway) is a visual artist, filmmaker and writer based in Oslo. How we perceive geography and history, is a recurrent interest explored through her work. She often employs an ecological- as well as a feminist perspective in her practice.

Gjertsen has exhibited at GIBCA Gotenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Kunstnernes hus Oslo, Bodø Biennale, Museo de Arte de Lima, Museum for Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Malmö Art Museum, Nordische Botschaften, Berlin, Henie Onstad Art Center, MuHKA Antwerp and Konsthall C Stockholm. She has been an artist in residence at Mitte Berlin, Platform China Beijing and CoLab Art & Architecture in Bangalore and IASPIS in Stockholm. In 2020 an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, was included in Signaler, the Cappelen Damm debutant anthology.

Unni Gjertsen graduated from Trondheim Academy of Fine Art NTNU in 1997. From 2016-2017 she studied Creative Writing at The Norwegian Arctic University in Tromsø. She has been teaching at several art academies in Norway, latest at Art and Public Space at Oslo National Academy of The Arts 2017-2018. She is part of the Norwegian Artist’s Grants Committee for 2022.