28 min, 3 channel HD projection
Shot on super 16mm
A Basilisk Communications Production
Parallel is about the movement of people in Europe and the necessary act of re-invention that this often brings about. The multi-screen installation brings together the projected experiences of immigrants as they track their new surroundings and adapt to their environments alongside others in the same situation. In the act of leaving the society from which they came the immigrants are forced to create a new way to live often getting by and making do at the same time as driving a way forward in a new society. The protagonists in Parallel each embody the dual World of the immigrant as they personify custom and memory at the same time as taking on the present.
By using multiple screens the singular viewpoint is replaced by both a multiple way of looking at similar situations and a way of passing time in different places and circumstances simultaneously.
The City as Multicultural Environment
The gallery is the place of encounter for a continuous and contextualized vision of three separate lives whose meeting place on the screen is by virtue of their displacement and involves the same sense of chance that the upheaval of their lives has necessarily brought about. Each vision of this everyday is that of the protagonist in each city and gives a voice to the small and incidental acts which make up the substance of the hours, nights and days in their lives. The work is a tribute to the displaced and their contingent lifestyles and a humanisation of the everyday. The work allowed me to become close to people who we might brush up against in our lives without further contact as they serve us food, ask for money on the street, queue in the post office, appear as separate yet at home as stand in the doctor’s surgery, take money from the bank teller or purchase the equipment for their homes.
A focused reality is brought to bear on our received notion of immigration. The intimacy that is present in these people’s lives is brought into a space where their aims and focus cross-fertilize with their current reality in a primarily visual dynamic. The incidental relationships that characterize these lives are the focus for the whole work as the screens work both separately and mirror one another as a whole.
Cities and Screens
The three cities chosen are Rome, Madrid and London. All fall within the notion of Fortress Europe and all have current pressures of immigration as they struggle to accommodate incomers and to re-think their attitude to their own identity.
The book Parallel by Hannah Collins was published by ACTAR in 2008 and is now available to buy online. Preview sections of the book and view the stories of Dewa, Pamela and Constantine using the links below. In each story grab the page corners to flip through the book.