Contained Mobility (Ursula Biemann, 2004)

I wanted to post this work by Ursula Biemann for a long time… Biemann, a video artist based in Zürich, Switzerland, addresses in this installation the relationality of (im)mobility. For her, the European Schengen area represents both the growing containment and enablement of movement (especially in the post-9/11 period). Thus, according to her own description, the project attempts to narrate the strategies, methods and techniques on both sides: on the one hand, it addresses practices of disciplining the movement of goods and people, on the other, it tries to get a grasp of the travelers and their ruses to achieve mobility and self-determination. The shipping container, as she explains, becomes then “a suitable symbol” for approaching these two seemingly separate domains: It “denotes a quality of confinement and enclosure while implying at the same time, a systematized worldwide mobility.”

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