THE ACHROMATIC ISLAND
HD video, S/H
The short black and white film and the photographs in the installation The Achromatic Island, depicts the contemporary landscape on the Danish island Fur. This is a region that features typical problems of a rural area in Denmark, such as depopulation and a dependency on the quality of roads and other infrastructure to serve the local industries and tourism, steering the development of the landscape towards more urban sprawl or plain deterioration.
However, the landscape is viewed through a particular lense that is related to a special set of problems from this peripheral area: until the 1930s, a genetical hereditary strain of black and white colour blindness, achromatopsia, prevailed among the inhabitants of the island, but then disappeared with the gradual opening-up of the isolated area. The colour blindness is accompanied by a hypersensitivity to light and a low visual acuity. The images make a number of attempts at showing the visual reality and the landscape of Fuur as experienced by the achromatopes, as it is described by the affected themselves in the available literature and in interviews.
But the images are limited by the basic difficulty of understanding the perception of somebody else and the more obvious impossibility of apprehending such a radically different perception of the world. And so the piece becomes a work about a place, but also about seeing, about the language and its limits, and about my limitations and possibilities as an artist for reproducing the images I imagine an achromatic world to look like.