Journey to the Edge of the World – The New Republic of St. Kilda (1999/2002)
Sinclair, Ross

collection Hamburger Kunsthalle - Galerie der Gegenwart

The artist has arranged three rooms with more than 800 cardboard boxes, video and slide projections, sound and a large chalk drawing of a map of the world. His work reflects on the history of the Scottish island St. Kilda. Its inhabitants were cut off from civilisation for over a thousand years and found their own ways of living in a community. In 1930 the island was evacuated, when the islanders' survival was threatened by illness.

Entering the installation, the first room displays the chalk drawing of the world map - back to front and upside down - on boxes, painted black like a school board. The small island is marked in the bottom right corner. Here and there the artist painted words onto the boxes of the other walls describing the character of St. Kilda community: no police, no locks, no money….
A double slide projection near a wall inscribed ’history’ juxtaposes historical facts of the world and St. Kilda, while a voice on a record is reading them out.

At the end of a corridor there are two rooms. One is a black-and-white cinema, setting us back in time showing the evacuation of the island, in reverse. In the last room is a mirrored double projection of St. Kilda’s mountain Stac Lee. On a monitor screen in the left bottom corner the artist presents himself with his ’Real Life’-tattoo on his shoulders. Scottish folk songs are played backwards in both rooms.

PHOTO: Christoph Irrgang, Hamburg © Ross Sinclair

16 x 6,5m