Fall 2015

Artist Project / The North

Hanna Ljungh

This is a journey in three parts to the North, from three different moments in time. The first part is a scene from a film; the second, a reenactment of that scene; the third, a visit. While the first part is fiction, the other two are experiments, or trials, in art.

“The North” is an ongoing project about the fleeing bodies of mankind, about filth and the shifting, changing body mass of a glacier. It’s a meditation on time, entropy, and the body. It’s a reflection of, and play with, the image of the North. An image of cleanliness, whiteness, and purity—of the untouched.

PART I: SCENE FROM THE FILM FIVE EASY PIECES, 1970
SYNOPSIS: Bobby and his girlfriend are driving north to visit his parents. They pick up two hitchhikers who are moving to Alaska in order to flee from society.

CHARACTERS:
Bobby
Bobby’s Girlfriend
Palm Apodaca
Terry Grouse

BOBBY: Where are you going?
PALM: Alaska.
BOBBY: Alaska? What are you, on vacation?
TERRY: She wants to live there, cause it’s cleaner.
BOBBY: Cleaner? Cleaner than what?
PALM (TO TERRY): You don’t have to tell everybody about it; pretty soon they’ll all go there and they won’t be so clean.
BOBBY: What makes you think it’s cleaner?
PALM: I saw a picture of it. Alaska is very clean, it appeared to look very white to me. Don’t you think?
BOBBY: Yup, that was before the big thaw.
PALM: Before the what?

Later, still in the car.

PALM: I had to leave this place because I got depressed seeing all the crap. And the thing is they’re making more crap, you know? They got so many stores and stuff and junk full of crap, I can’t believe it.
BOBBY: Who?
PALM: Who? Man, that’s who. Pretty soon there won’t be any room for Man. They’re selling more crap that people go and buy than you can imagine. Crap. I believe everybody should have a big hole where they throw this stuff in and burn it.
BOBBY’S GIRLFRIEND: They’d never find a hole big enough, never. Now take me, now look at me. When I was just one person, before I was with Bobby, I was collecting onto me more garbage, every day, till I was getting to thinking that I should get a disposal.
PALM: Disposal? What’s that but more crap, I’ve never seen such crap.

Later, during a stop.

TERRY: Mass production is what does it.
PALM: What do you mean mass? I have to come out and tell you the truth, you’re not that clean either.
TERRY: Wait a minute, I’m not that neat maybe, but I am clean.
PALM: Well, you’re not that bad. But some people, ugh, people’s homes, just filth. I’ve been in people’s homes and I‚—
TERRY: In my personal observation I think that more people are neat than are clean.
PALM: My personal thing, I don’t see that; I’m seeing more filth, a lot of filth. What they need to do every day, no, once in a while, is do a cockroach thing, you know where they, ugh, spray the homes and—can you imagine if their doors were painted a pretty color and they had a pot outside?

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