6,654 km / 4,135 miles
6,654 kilometers / 4,135 miles
"How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you - you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences - like rags and shreds of your very life."
- Katherine Mansfield
What is it that defines us? Is it the place of birth? Language? Culture? Is identity tied to a specific geographic location? Is it portable? Can identities be merged? These are the questions present in Magda Biernat's recent works. Spinning off her previous project that explored the notions of home, displacement and the in-between, "6,654 kilometers/4,135 miles" focuses on borders and the bridging of distances.
In this three-channel video installation a ritualistic mixing of water from the place of her birth with the water from the place she currently resides is a metaphor for her own hybrid identity. Anchoring the piece is a mason jar containing the resulting mix: equal parts from the Atlantic Ocean and the Baltic Sea. Besides exploring Biernat's personal situation of being between two cultures, the work questions the transformative quality of locations and geographies at a time when subjects are no longer bound to one particular place. In this way it portrays the physical rite of passage when crossing over geographic boundaries and pays homage to those displaced and struggling to find their identities within the context of “home.”
The world's cultures may be very different, but when seen through a consistent lens in terms of simple geometry, the complexities of cultural variation fall away. Here I turn my camera onto the ordinary details of everyday life.
Where You End and I Begin
An exploreration of physical and spiritual borders and the difficulty of crossing both. Inspired by my personal situation of living between two cultures, the work questions the transformative quality of moving away while looking back.
The Other in Me
Due to the geographic fluidity, being neither here nor there, many of us suffer from confusion about our cultural roots. While in a state of "in-betweeness" we search for a real connection to a place and definition of our identity.