Finally, there is a reason to visit the SCHIRN again: the immersive installation by artist Caroline Monnet can now be seen in the publicly accessible Rotunda.
In its publicly accessible Rotunda, the Schirn presents the immersive video work “Transatlantic” (2018) by Caroline Monnet, which documents the artist’s twenty-two-day journey by cargo ship from Europe to Canada. Leaving the Dutch port of IJmuiden, she crosses the Atlantic Ocean to Montreal, eventually arriving in Cleveland, Ohio.
In a cinematic montage, the images of the crossing, mirrored at the central, exert a forceful pull. This is reinforced by a trance-like soundtrack of radio frequencies and Morse code, created in collaboration with sound artist Simon Guibord. This contrasts with the static equilibrium of the three concrete spheres of “Proximal I, II, III” (2018/2020) which, in the Schirn, are combined with the video work to create a powerful installation.
The spheric sculptures refer, among other things, to the lunar cycles that play a central role in the Algonquin tradition. Today, about 8,000 Algonquins live in Canada in ten different tribal communities, nine of them in Québec and one in Ontario. The installation illuminates the impact of colonial history between Europe and North America, covering trade and migration as well as the traumatic experiences of Indigenous peoples. For Caroline Monnet, the Atlantic Ocean links the two sides of her identity, shaped by her Algonquin ancestry in Canada and her French ancestry in Europe.
The focus of her work is, in addition to her own identity in the area of tension between Indigenous and European roots, the continuing colonial dynamics between Europe and North America as well as the representation of Indigenous peoples and cultures in today’s society.
Caroline Monnet is an artist working in sculpture, installation, and film. In addition to her own identity as it relates to her Indigenous and European roots, the focus of her work is on the continuing colonial dynamics between Europe and North America, as well as the representation of Indigenous people and cultures in contemporary society. As a filmmaker, Caroline Monnet debuted her oeuvre at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009. She has since presented her work at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. In 2016, she was selected for the prestigious Cinéfondation residency program in Paris. The exhibition Magnetic North: Imagining Canada in Painting 1910–40 the Schirn presents “Mobilize” (2015), a further piece by the artist.