Island Tour

- A Series of Island Expeditions

Geographers say there are two kinds of islands. This is valuable information for the imagination because it confirms what the imagination already knew… Continental islands are accidental, derived islands. They are separated from a continent, born of disarticulation, erosion, fracture; they survive the absorption of what once contained them. Oceanic islands are originary, essential islands. Some are formed from coral reefs and display a genuine organism. Others emerge from the underwater eruptions, bringing to the light of day a movement from the lowest depths. Some rise slowly; some disappear and then return, leaving us no time to annex them… But everything that geography has told us about the two kinds of islands, the imagination knew already on its own and in another way. The élan that draws humans toward islands extends the double movement that produces islands in themselves. Dreaming of islands - whether with joy or in fear, it doesn't matter - is dreaming of pulling away, of being already separate, far from any continent, of being lost and alone - or it is dreaming of starting from scratch, recreating, beginning anew.

Gilles Deleuze, Desert Islands

Many of our projects, although realized on the mainland, have to some extent also been concerned with the idea of an island; a closed environment, a special place, an independent community. Islands are isolated capsules - limitations are imposed by their relation to the exterior. Restrictions provide for new possibilities. The utopian endeavor lies in the search itself. The Island Tour is an ongoing project; work realized on one island is shown on the next, thereby connecting different island communities.

In August 2007 we went on an expedition to Iceland. This archetype of an island was created millions of years ago when the Eastern and the Western plates collided. The volcanic landscape is in constant dominated by desolate planes, mountain ridges and sparse vegetation. One month was spent traveling around the island. Along the way we made a series of sculptural interventions in the landscape – using ourselves as principal actors. The works related to the places we visited, the people we met, the stories told and read. The result was a series of posters in a broadsheet newspaper presented at the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

Alongside the newspaper project, we also made a work in situ during our stay in Australia. From an old condemned wooden double sculler, a boomerang shaped boat was created by cutting it in two and adding a rounded extension. The work was done on the Cockatoo Island in the Sydney harbor – a former prison and shipyard. Presented as a work in progress, the public could take part in the building process, also after the opening. The work was then shipped to England, where it is now presented in the Boomerang Boat Museum.

Besides the main island venues Iceland, Australia and the British Isles, a series of independent island projects have served as research and develpoment for new work.