The dead walk side by side with the living

Displacement, the meaning of place, and the tension of intimacy in public space, are recurring concerns in the work of Maria Ångerman. The significance of belonging to a place and what constitutes that belonging are underlying questions. Her ongoing project is inspired by animism and anthropology. In her research, studies are carried out both of individual animals and of actors and non-actors interpreting texts and situations. Her ongoing film project, The dead walk side by side with the living ties seemingly incompatible storylines together and shifts within a territory located between documentary fact and poetic fiction. It links disparate images in a way that produces a dreamlike inner coherence, one based on poetic reasoning rather than rational logic. The film resembles journeys into a world of perceptions, particularly exploring a haptic language and the idea of film as an embodied, sensual experience.

Ångerman’s method of working is organic and relational. Its processual approach is guided by an intuitive sense whereby circumstance and external participation are taken into consideration. With an acute sensibility to color, texture, and composition, Ångerman operates the camera herself or directs a small team. In either case, the exploration is carried out with a moving camera. The editing process becomes a way to define the grammar in the material, to create connections between different narratives. Ångerman describes her work as a continuous creative process of discovering the film, a venture where risk is always present.

Ångerman: “Living in cultures that are not your own develops a third eye, it makes you a "see-through-er". The title refers equally to that as it does to the content of the project, that resonates with ideas of performative perception and animism. At the core of the project are questions such as What is belonging? What is place? What is being? The focus of my research was to create a method of working to support my otherwise intuitive approach, and to create a more multi layered narrative. In addition to the layering, I am investigating it through creating both a multi channel film installation – where the aspects of time and randomness can be differently explored – as well as in a linear film. As the installation enhances the haptic image and the embodied experience I am researching, the challenge is how to create a similar experience in the linear film.”

Maria Ångerman

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