Incomplete Geographies and Cosmopolitical Drifts – Mobility and Migration in Tania Ruiz Gutierrez’ Elsewhere/Annorstädes/Ailleurs

Maria Hellström Reimer

Project Period:
Type: Affiliated Research Project
Program Area(s): Critical Projections


”Nous vivons en enfants perdus, nos aventures incompletes.” (Last verse in the film Hurlements en faveur de Sade, Guy-Ernest Debord, 1952)

In a rapidly changing environment increasingly marked by unprecedented financial precipices, demographic inundations, and atmospheric instabilities, previously advantageous vantage points prove to be utterly unfavourable, even thoroughly inadequate, as such causing what could be described as a situation of ontological distress. While resulting in territorial tension and infrastructural instability, it is a situation that also evokes new kinds of spatio-temporal sensitivity, including new forms of mobility and mediation.

The present article is concerned with one attempt to address the issue of geographical imaginaries and changing worldviews – the site-specific video installation Elsewhere/Annorstädes/Ailleurs by Tania Ruiz Gutierrez. An integrated part of a major transport infrastructure – the expanded Øresund Connection linking Sweden and Denmark, the work raises some fundamental questions as concerns mediation, mobility and migration.

The article is divided into three parts; the first an introductory presentation of the artwork in question; the second a critical interpretation from the perspective of psycho-geography; and the third finally a discussion of the work as an expression of ambiguous cosmopolitics. While present day psycho-geographies tend to slant towards a nostalgic mythologizing of mobility, cosmopolitical programs may fail to account for the experience of margins giving rise to social movements and migratory streams.

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