Between the Shores
I am this person who moved to Finland. This over-analytical yet emotional, not impulsive person who is stressed when a decision is standing in the room. I DO have to make decisions. But, as you know, this is the most difficult part of life. In fact, I believe, life is all and only decisions. And our written history are merely those decided decisions that shall be remembered.
What do we decide on? I am critical towards anything new I encounter. I do not trust often. Absorbed by human relationships, I do not create work on that. I create, mostly thoughts; regularly pronounced as words, sometimes written, once in a while expressed through moving and non-moving images of documentary nature. Fascinated by power relations, I analyze agencies in the arts, players of society, and the seeming randomness of the strange human canon of relevance. I am trying to make sense of it. I am not even trying to make sense of it. Who made the decision? Picture a different reality! In our archives – online or offline, ever-updating or final, the knowledge of humanity in images. In our heads – most massive archives in constant motion – own imaginations of said images. And here is the trick – imagine that! – simply picture a different image, opposing, mocking, twisting the existing. But make it your own. Reimagine reality and use the imaginatory to lay bare the nature of imposed images, hold a mirror in front of itself. This is what creation can do. Reveal the randomness! Embrace it and use it to your advantage. Challenge decisions! Make new ones and recreate reality.
It is what I do
Length: approx. one ferry ride, 12 minutes (or however long you want to skim through it)
Between the Shores is a video essay aiming to offer the traveler chance to find beauty in being in the in-between. It is located in the commute between Helsinki Kauppatori (Market Square) and the islands of the fortress of Suomenlinna.
The essay is driven by very personal experiences of commutes to my workplace throughout autumn and winter of 2020/1. A time of balancing work and studies. For me, the journey gave space to see, read, think and reflect. At times my attention was fully caught in the passing waves and islands or the pattern of the icefloe carpet in deep winter. But sometimes, for example when the glaring sun setting on the horizon was washing the surface of the water into a hypnotic animation, it became easy to drift off in thoughts. My view was wandering inwards while the gaze still caught by the outside.
The busy calmness allowed clear thoughts for reflection and processing life. It became a state of mind. What the video shows though – besides the collected vast imagery found in social media – is what I captured before, after or instead, driven by this state.
Staged from the scattered perspective of the passenger through the lense of the many, the video utilizes the wide, moving views the journey presents. It uses unfiltered footage of an archive of my various travels on the ferry throughout the months and juxtaposes them with the constant production and consumption of images of such aesthetics found in i.a. social media. While commenting on the endless repetition of interchangeable images, Between the Shores in fact hopes through repetition to reclaim the power of the aesthetics encountered and the experiences made by travelers as a strength of the both bodily and mental in-between. It wishes the viewers to allow themselves to wander along the move and to be taken into the state of mind the non- and everyplace has to offer.
Sound by my good friend Leo Aull inspired by his track SOLITUDE II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwOZeDMyNfE&ab_channel=LeoAull
Text messages by former HIAP colleagues Eleni Tsitsirikou and Jakub Bobrowski
Footage taken with my phone between August 2020 and February 2021, screenrecord of instagram posts of #suomenlinna #suomenlinnalautta #suomenlinnalauttalla #suomenlinnaferry
Philipp Maximilian Dochantschi is a Helsinki-based art worker born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1995.
Subsequently to an internship at the studio- and exhibition house Atelierfrankfurt, 2015 in Frankfurt, he found his way into the Bachelor studies of Communication, Culture & Management at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen. His undergraduate studies allowed him to grow an understanding of contemporary social challenges, ways of analysing and managing them and transferring their dynamics into the framework of art. Practical examples of testing and experimenting his new knowledge are the culture festival Seekult, which he helped to plan and exercise in 2016, the founding of the university music association Dezibel and first steps into a curatorial and artistic practice with his video-performance “To Achieve Social Change”. Which was presented at the Symposium “From Social Sculpture to Art Related Action”, October 2016 in Zeppelin University and in the exhibition “Who Pays?” in March 2017 at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.
His graduation from Zeppelin University in 2019 was followed by the start of his currently ongoing MA-studies of Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art at Aalto University in Finland, where he is aiming to develop his attempt in societal and art theoretical research of agencies in the arts.
Alongside his studies he furthermore gained insight into the global art system through interning 2016 at the internationally operating gallery Sprüth Magers in Berlin, 2018 in a managerial position at the studio of renowned visual artist Sarah Morris in New York, and 2020 in the administration of Finland’s major artists residency HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Programme.