Shanghaied Text

1996, 20 min, color, sound

In this first part of a projected series on the notion of landscape as 'artifact,' images of landscape and industrial history are interwoven and juxtaposed. Notions of 'civilization' and 'progress' are set against an apparently indifferent nature which continues calm and unchanged in the face of struggle and suffering and wars for dominance. In a radical visual gesture that endows the physical terrain with symbolic content, the land is animated as the theater upon which political struggles have been staged throughout history. Onto austere, seemingly benign landscapes, Kobland superimposes archival footage of peasants in China, revolutionary heroes from early Soviet cinema and footage of Paris during the May '68 student riots. Images of the female body from pornography are also projected onto the landscape, eroticizing the land and suggesting both the symbolic colonization of the female body and the notions of the 'mother country.'

Landscape Photography: E. Jay Sims, Ken Kobland, Nancy Campbell. Direction: Pierre Bongiovanni, Isabelle Truchot. CMX Editor: Marshall Reese. Film Master: Four Media Company, Burbank, CA. Post Production Assistance: Erika Yeomans. Post Production Mastering: Stand-by Program at Windsor Digital. Produced in part in D1 facilities of the CICV Centre Pierre Shaeffer, Montbeliard/Belfort, France.