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Blind Understanding – New Commentary
Saskia Holmkvist

The film Blind Understanding – New Commentary dismantles our expectations that an artwork is finished once it’s presented for an audience. In 2009 Saskia Holmkvist made Blind Understanding and, 10 years later, the artist places herself in a vulnerable position by critiquing the choices she made about the film’s narrative and its production. Blind Understanding – New Commentary offers a new translation of the first version, similar to how new translations of older books function to give the book new circulation. In the updated version of Holmkvist ́s work though, a subtle poignancy emerges as she shares her reasons, regrets and discomfort with some of the topics she thought were changeless but became ever more wicked in the wake of the global economic downturn. In many ways, this revelation gives the film a new heartbeat.

Keywords Essay, Nature, Personal, Self-portrait, immigration, Society
Aspect ratio 1.78:1 (16:9)
Prod. format Generic HD-video
Duration 00:12:10
Language English
Color Color
Sound Stereo
Year 2019
Rent this work for public screenings

About the artist

Saskia Holmkvist

Saskia Holmkvist´s work is concerned with exploring the limits of translation drawing from ways of practice within the domain of translation and how it shapes and forms relations and historical trajectories, in particular the impact on agency. The work combines aspects of ethnography and theatre to create films and performance that relate through past artworks, language, and contested history. Zooming in on gestures, fragments and distorting information so as to reconfigure histories, layered entanglements with performative translations is part of the aesthetic and theoretical fabric of her practice.

The practice builds on long-term research, where the art-making always comes out of working with a diverse array of people from a variety of backgrounds over long periods. Holmkvist considers these people, who often become friends, the main agents of the transformative potential in her work, creating non-linear narratives, suggesting alternative readings or possibilities, juxtaposing documentary with fiction and storytelling. She works in a circular mode of connectivity, bringing together themes of historic erasure and limits of translation through critical listening, oral speculation, repetitions into works of performance and film installation. Examples of this can be seen in works such as Margaret (Back Translation), Blind Understanding – New Commentary (2009-2019), Procession Action Tour (2018), as well in earlier video works such as System (2001) and Interview with Saskia Holmkvist (2005).