Left to Their Own Fate (Odyssey) – Film


Left to Their Own Fate (Odyssey), 2019
Immersive architectural and light intervention, complete edition in three volumes of Homer’s Odyssey, altered; HD video
Duration and dimensions variable

Left to Their Own Fate is first of all an action performed by the artist with his brother, the actor Fábio Godinho, on three initiatory journeys to various places on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea (Strait of Gibraltar/Tunis, Carthage, Djerba/Trieste and Istria). While travelling, Fábio silently read all three volumes of the complete text of Homer’s Odyssey, considered one of the founding poems of European civilisation.
During his travels, Ulysses, a forced migrant and exile, must face the violence of the sea. But his journey is also about losing one’s sense of orienta­ tion, seemingly endless periods of waiting and the perils of returning home – resonating with the fate of today’s migrants and the lack of perspectives of a generation facing uncertain times. Each time he fin­ ished reading a page of the Odyssey, Fábio tore it out and, in a gesture of offering, turned it over to the sea, to nature. The pages flew away and thus continued their journey, each following its own destiny.
This experience in the field gave rise to a video in which documentary and fiction are inextricably intertwined, resulting in an uncertain intermediary state. The video of the journeys is projected at mon­ umental scale onto the northern wall of the pavilion. The image is visible from both the outside and the inside, creating a zone of coexistence and sharing. Once inside the pavilion, visitors discover a crack in the wall, placed at a very precise height. Depending on the light in the pavilion, they can occasionally spot the three empty book volumes behind this crack, separated by a one-way mirror. The crack extends to the parallel room, where it no longer holds any mate­ rial content, retaining only its luminous, ephemeral presence.

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  • II.
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    Installation views of the Luxembourg Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2019

Installation views of the Luxembourg Pavilion, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2019