Halfway home. Ponder these words for a second. Either referring to being halfway from home in a literal sense of placement or a more philosophical understanding of displacement from the idea of the home, the title possess a type of ambiguity. A questioning of connectedness, rootedness and diaspora. In relation to the halfway home I find it hard not to think about Coline Marotta’s own current displacement and uprootedness as a french-born living and working in Copenhagen. The strange feeling of both being literally at homein Copenhagen, while still being halfway from homein southern France. The halfway home is a place both recognizable and indeterminable. For Marotta this isn’t about site specificity, but instead of feeling and being connected to the place of which you are present. Feeling at home.
Currently, the home is being challenged. Or rather it is being mutated by current industrial- and technological advances. Firstly in regards to the personal uprooting of internet and global mobility, and secondly in companies continual wishes and expectations to accentuate the speed and convenience of our everyday technologies. These almost by default lead to a minimizing of human contact in daily life. We pay with contactless credit cards, we do all of our shopping online, our dating life is reduced to swiping left or right on a screen. Ironically, most of the technologies we use in everyday life are disconnecting us.
In Marotta’s work I don’t see an explicitly depicted reality. Her represented universe is not naturalism or realism, but instead a reflection of the world we inhabit. A strangely indefinable and non referential world draped in neons and pastels. The figures of the world act in accordance with the norms and behavior patterns of ours, and are thus reflections of ourselves. A reflection of the decreasing collectivism and the melancholy which is related to current post-internet individualism. Depicting individualist activities such as swimming, dancing, going to the beach or masturbating, the figures all underline the notion of a missing partner, or a loss of contact. Even in the works with multiple figures the connection is off, showing that the characters have a hard time dealing with interpersonal emotions such as cordiality or sexual tension. Still, the figures in their solitude are in a way all trying to establish or engage in a dialogue. A dialogue to combat the anxiety that is hiding underneath their cutish appearance. An anxiety of not belonging or not being loved.
Perhaps these issues aren’t related to the degrading or uprooting of the home, but more an overembrace of the familial, of the comfortable. Maybe the home is a place of too much convenience, a place we feel too much at home. Possibly the uncertainty and ambiguity of the halfway home can help us cross borders, and connect to the things that aren’t within our cadastral. And can help us rebuild a sense of collectivism, a sense of belonging, a sense of love.
text by Rasmus Thor Christensen.