Northern Drift – Alexis Destoop

Alexis Destoop
Northern Drift

In Alexis Destoop’s art film Northern Drift, anthropological travel diary meets retro-futuristic sci-fi in the cold, barren landscape north of the Arctic Circle.

Many years in the making, Northern Drift is the final result of Destoop’s long-term research into the High North. The film revisits and re-imagines the borderland between Russia and Norway; a region that is the traditional home of the indigenous Sami people, a crossroads that has been marked by the foremost conflicts of the last century and a resource rich area that sees new economic prospects as climate change takes hold.

In Northern Drift, Destoop removes the stringent notion of the border as a line of demarcation. The audience may enter the shipbuilding yard in Kirkenes, then on leaving, find themselves overlooking the expanse of Murmansk’s skyline from the outlook at Abram-Mys. In this way, the notion of border becomes a broad, expansive space that bears signs of the past and projections of the future.

The narration of Northern Drift is heavy with facts and events, overcoming geographic specificity, and yet rich in detail. The voice is hoarse, hinting on impending doom that is heavy to bear. He speaks in a tone that can be understood as half reporting on facts and half relying on dim recollections, in a style where it is unclear if he is speaking from the present, or from a distant past that was discovered in the future after some unknown disaster.

Hushed in its timbre, the landscape in Northern Drift is harsh and inaccessible, and yet bears traces of significant human activity. For us living up in the North, the recognizable becomes abstract, and the juxtaposition of known places, landscapes and infrastructure feels intrinsically political.

Screenings start on the hour from 10:00 – 18:00 (Sun 12:00 – 15:00)

10:00 - 18:00
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