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And The Sky so Present and Near
Nadine Byrne

And The Sky so Present and Near portrays how states of being beyond the capacity of language can be performed. A scene in Bo Wideberg’s film Kärlek 65, in which all the film’s characters fly kites together, inspired Byrne to use kite flying as a common gesture that wields where language ends. An act consisting of several parts; the construction of the kite, its aesthetic design and finally the flying of it. What happens in this final flying, whether as an individual or collective act, is a situation that cannot easily be communicated. Getting something to fly is, at least for someone raised in a secular society, an almost sacred experience.

Byrne, who in several works approached ritual as a subject and artistic method, saw in the kite-building process and flying a ritual practice, which is also the case in several places in the world. The creation of an object, whose aesthetic design has a symbolic value, with which we achieve a transcendent state.

And The Sky so Present and Near was filmed during a kite-building workshop at the Museum of Etnography in Stockholm, which Byrne invited the public to in connection with an exhibition there titled XISM. The kite-building workshop at the museum and a kite festival at Gärdet, a large field located right next to it, had a long history and Byrne had attended many times as a child. By the time the film was shot, however, the kite-building workshop and festival had been defunct for a few years (it has since been resurrected). Reconnecting to this childhood experience was also a motivation in the creation of the film, which in many images portray the children’s experience.

Keywords Documentary, Nature, Music, Experimental, Sound
Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format 8mm super
Duration 00:06:12
Language No dialogue
Color BW
Year 2011
In text Nadine Byrne
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About the artist

Nadine Byrne

Nadine Byrne (*1985, SE) is an artist and composer whose
interdisciplinary artistic practice spans across sound, sculpture, performance and video. Her work explores themes of memory, grief and loss as well as the inherent language and history to be found in materials and gestures. Byrnes practice is also informed by a fascination for visual and social manifestations of alternative constructions of reality.
In her cinematic work she incorporates the idea of the gesamtkunstwerk, Byrne creating the costume, set design, choreography as well as the soundtrack and often letting them spill out from the video work and into a spatial installation, sometimes further activated by performance.

Byrne lives and work in Stockholm and received her MA from the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. She has exhibited and performed internationally, most recently at places such as Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Malmö Konstmuseum, Malmö, and CPR2, NYC.