sitting on two stools

sitting on two stools | ne možeš sjediti na dvije stolice                              By Debbie James & Dejana Erich

Thoughts of home and homeland are separate, pulling me back and forth, yet overlapping in my memory. While away, I can look at the pictures, return to the same places, and walk down the same street, yet I cannot return to those moments. It is a time that no longer exists and yet I inhabit both places.

To further explore the intersection between memory, home and homeland, James and Erich travelled to the Balkan coastal town of Herceg Novi, Montenegro in 2012 to interview summer residents who were citizens of the former Yugoslavia, a time and place that no longer exists. The resulting collaborative installation includes video and photovoice as a means to represent experiences of home and homeland as a transient community of memory. The three video screens show images of a daily walk through the town to the coast and back again, adding a dream-like quality to a real place. These images serve to frame five stories based on the question: “How do you negotiate home and homeland?” Together, the images, video, and sound are a site of cultural meaning that incorporates transnational dimensions to the idea of loss, memory, and return. Like the experience, the title is embedded with the contradiction of being in and living between two places and times. Visitors can pick up a pencil, reflect on the meaning of home, and share their personal perspective as part of this installation.

Listen to sitting on two stools interview excerpts


sitting on two stools on Art: Out & About

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