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Excuse Us While We Improve Your View, Atlantis

Excuse Us While We Improve Your View, Atlantis

Excuse Us While We Improve Your View, Atlantis is a video installation presenting a travel experience in EXPO Dubai, the last World Expo to take place between 2020 and 2022.

In merging recordings from a family trip with commercials spots and promotional messages encountered along the visit, a visual narrative between reality and illusion emerges, grasping at the problematic „worlding“ conveyed by Expo, in which passports become branded gadgets to discover „the world in one place.“

Excuse Us While We Improve Your View, Atlantis

Vimeo Link:

Kennwort: atlantis

The World Expo is an international event organized by the BIE (Bureau of International Expositions), an intergovernmental institution founded in 1928 to supervise the organization of these major-scale exhibitions worldwide. Nowadays, 171 nations are accredited members, reuniting every five years in temporary appositively built theme parks, where „extraordinary pavilions can transform the landscape of a city for years to come.“

The latter quote, taken from the BIE's website, is a doubtful point when looking at previous sites left abandoned (such as in Hannover after the Expo in 2000) or witnessing an accelerated gentrification process and rent upscaling prices, as in Milan after the Expo in 2015.

The history of the World Expos roots back to colonialism and industrialization at the end of the XIX century, as Western countries aimed to strengthen popular support for their colonial activities and, by doing so, aimed to boost industrial progress and national prestige, foraged by the perpetual proceeds of colonies.

Indeed, European nations hosted buildings showcasing colonies like the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1889, the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 - which celebrated the 400 years of the discovery of the Americas - or the Brussels International in 1931, where one could find even human zoos.

Throughout time there has been a shift in purposing these events, which brought their focus from industrial pride towards questioning contemporary economic and social challenges and national branding, creating, nonetheless, the opportunity for trade business and the development of strategic international relationships. In 2020, the World Expo debuted, eventually for the first time, in a Middle East country, the Emirate of Dubai. Representing an opportunity for the MENA region to „drum up their interests“, Expo Dubai has been considered a catalyst event to foster economic upheaval of the Emirati along other that of neighbouring countries. With the theme, „Connecting minds, creating the future,“ the event aimed to face upcoming sustainable strategies to streamline prospective transport infrastructures and human mobility.

Ti ho visto altrove Atlantide
e forse ti ho trovato qui

confinée à la mer tes iles gisent à l’horizont
construites à moitié
elles forment les ruines d’un monde
éternelle fiction d’un progrès qui recule en arrière


Excuse us while improve your view, Atlantis
but we can’t see you anymore
time and distance dissolved
your grounds are sinking
your water bloomed
and now recedes
all lives streaming
down together


Atlantide dove sei?
nicht mehr da
in einem einzigen Tag bist du untergegangen
nun fließen die Bilder weg
und zeigen uns deine Abwesenheit.


photo_2023-01-08 22.23.29.jpegphoto_2023-01-08 22.23.29.jpeg

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Europäische Medienwissenschaften

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Wintersemester 2022 / 2023