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A Letter to Zoe
Marte Aas

A container is a tool, something that holds, a receiver, a recipient. A container has traditionally been seen as passive and “unintelligent” and has routinely been overlooked and undervalued in the philosophical analyses of technology. The film A Letter to Zoe focuses on questions of containment and supply via use of the container as a fundamental metaphor. The woman in the film talks about her house, about the pregnant recipient of the letter, about her memories, about data-storage technology, thereby asserting that a container is neither silent nor passive, and is in constant, vigorous interaction with those who use it. Exactly like the heroes in origin myths, aggressive equipment and dynamic machines have been given more attention than receptive and transformative “feminine” containment technologies. A container is created to hold, to receive, but always risks leakage. This imperfection is part of the essence of the container. To be able to contain something, the container must have a limit, a border, but these borders are always elastic and unstable. Thus, the film is an account of the complexity of the connection between the human being and nature, and of the technology we employ. 

Aspect ratio 1.37:1 (Academy)
Prod. format 16mm
Duration 00:17:29
Language English
Color Color
Sound Channel 2
Year 2021
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About the artist

Marte Aas

Marte Aas (b. 1966, NO) is a photographer and film maker based in Oslo. Aas’ main area of interest is the intersection between contemporary image culture, history, technology and the landscape. Her work attempts to address underlying structures and gestures that form political and ideological narratives. The different subjects of interest manifest in the form of films, photographs and installations, folding them into non-linear and layered narratives.

The starting point for her works is often a story present in contemporary or historical material, which is being processed through research into different formats and media, although strongly grounded in a photographic practice. Photography’s material aspects, the connection between sign and signifier, and the representational aspects of photography is thus also investigated and processed in her art.

Aas is educated at The School of Photography at The University of Gothenburg the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Her films and art works have been shown in film festivals and exhibitions such as The film Society Lincoln Center and Anthology Film Archive, New York and EMAF, Osnabrueck as well as The National Museum of Art, Oslo, Henie Onstad kunstsenter, Kunstnernes hus, Oslo, Kiasma, Helsinki and Photographic Center, Copenhagen.