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Where She Is At
Johanna Billing

Realized in 2001, this quiet and subtle drama focuses on a neglected open-air leisure center by the sea near Oslo, Norway. Part of a project designed for the benefit of the inhabitants of Oslo in the 1930s, (by Ole Lind Schistad and Eyvind Mostue in 1934), and one of the few remaining pieces of functionalist architecture in Oslo. In a sharp contrast to the ideals of the thirties about health and well being, the center was in 2001 under demolition order since the state was not willing to pay for its upkeep. Enhanced by its loop form, the narrative structure of the film centres on a hesitating young woman who ponders the act of whether to jump from the high diving board and on the minimal reactions of the other sunbathing visitors around. Public and private spheres are probed and intermingled by the camera’s intervention, turning the protagonist inward, along with the audience toward her own thoughts. Partly staged with actors, and partly interacting with the functions of the place, as well as with the people who today uses it, the film draws together the public concern of the baths’ fate and the inner struggle of the girl’s hesitation. 

Keywords Body, Architecture, Performance, Landscape
Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic SD-video
Duration 00:07:36
Language No dialogue
Color Color
Year 2001
Latest screening Aug 7, 2021
May 10, 2002
Rent this work for public screenings

About the artist

Johanna Billing

Jönköping, Sweden, 1973; lives and works in Stockholm

Johanna Billing has been making video works since 1999 that weave together music, movement and rhythm. Merging the production modes of collective live events and workshops with a cinematic language, the films often focus on aspects of learning and how time plays a key role in that process. Billing in part directs the participants and in part activates a series of improvisations around the notion of performance and the possibility it holds to explore issues of the public and the private as well as the individual in the society as a whole. Billing often addresses political climates and cultural specificities. She transforms through a documentary method, her filmmaking in a fictive space to examine actual and contrived events and how that filmed compression illuminates their overlap. Billing’s videos often feature modified scores and music composed by the artist or in close dialogue with participants, using sound as an essential device for collaboration and communication.