Goetz Collection

Oberföhringer Straße 103
81925 Munich

Tel. +49 (0)89 9593969-0
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Take the Subway U4 to "Richard-Strauss-Straße". Change here for bus # 188 (direction Unterföhring, Fichtenstraße) to bus stop "Bürgerpark Oberföhring".

Take the streetcar # 16 or # 18, or bus # 54 or # 154 to "Herkomerplatz". Change here for bus # 188 (direction Unterföhring, Fichtenstraße) to bus stop "Bürgerpark Oberföhring".

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Doug Aitken: migration (empire) - linear version, 2008
November 8, 2010 – March 12, 2011 | Goetz Collection

Projection on the outer wall of the gallery building

Doug Aitken’s migration (empire) is a surreal encounter between nature, represented by typical American wildlife, and civilisation, represented by motels and industrial landscapes. The film sublimely evokes the fragility of the American myth of individual freedom that the vast open spaces of the magnificent landscape seem to promise, in the face of constant expansion and transformation.

In the cinematic orchestration of migration (empire) various wild animals wander through bizarrely deserted North American motels. Mustangs, buffaloes, pumas, raccoons, eagles and owls enter terrain that is normally reserved for people. These uncanny motel settings, eerily reminiscent of David Lynch’s film Lost Highway, are placed against an almost surreal backdrop at the edge of huge oilfields. Yet there is no clash between base animal instinct and civilised human culture, but merely a cautious attempt to make contact. The animals move – some timidly, others curiously – through the empty, well-tended bedrooms. Although people are nowhere to be seen, there is a mysterious sense of their presence. Switched-on televisions, coffee machines and lamps as well as running taps betray at least some temporary human habitation of the rooms. The images in migration (empire) are underscored by the constant sound of running or dripping water. Aitken portrays the wild animals in the sterility of the motel rooms as sublime creatures in a diffuse, bright light. Their fur, feathers or eyes are shown in detailed close-ups. In migration (empire) a dynamic is generated that is at once meditative and powerful – and utterly entrancing.

migration (empire) – linear version, 2008
Single-channel video installation 16:9, color, sound
Duration: 24‘24“

Doug Aitken (born 1968 in Redondo Beach, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles.