The sea stands in direct focus Rita Jokiranta’s three-channel video installation, created for ARS 11 and Water and Waste in the Åland Islands Art Museum. Jokiranta takes as her subject the water that bounds the African continent as fairways and places of departure, also asking if the waves are able to carry a message or if the sea can give some comfort.
Starting from the coasts of Morocco and Senegal she formulates a poetic statement about migration that extends from the tragic forced transportations of history to today’s situation in which many people see themselves as compelled to set off across the sea in perilous pursuit of a better life. For those, usually women and children, who are left behind, the sea becomes a barrier that serves as a monument to what is those who are missing. The sea can be hope, promise, uncertainty, despair and a grave. The waves carry with them a tale for every human being who has been forced, or chosen, to set to sea. We encounter the three projections, and the soundscape, filled with voices and the lapping of the waves, in the centrally positioned basin, in which the images are merged into a reflection that frees them from the specific site and gives them a universality like that of the sea itself. It can be impossible to span even the shortest distance. Sometimes, the horizon really is the end of the world. (Text by Sebastian Johans)