Enrique Ramirez


Enrique Ramírez appreciates stories within stories, fictions straddling countries and epochs, the mirages between dream and reality. This Chilean artist, who lives and works between Chile and France, often uses image and sound to construct a profusion of intrigues and to occupy the equilibrium between the poetic and the political. His imaginary worlds are attached to one obsessional element—his thinking starts with the sea, a space for memory in perpetual movement, a space for narrative projections where the fate of Chile intersects with grand narratives of voyage, conquest and migratory flows. His liquid images speak of the sparkle of a truth in permanent flight, the backwash of history, always repeating and never the same.



Video, with sound
Commissioned by Screen City Biennial

We all come into this world the same way, with nothing. When we must move or change environment for reasons beyond our control, when we are forced to flee, we often leave with nothing … to find a place where we can finally think of a new land, to rest our feet and to reach a sense of belonging.

Arriving with nothing was born out of a response to the infamous image published April 19, 2016, in which the Norwegian immigration minister, Sylvi Listhaug, was photographed in the Mediterranean Sea ‘abandoning ship’ from a Norwegian rescue vessel – wearing a protective orange survival suit – stating to the press: “You can’t put yourself in the same situation as the refugees but you can see it from that perspective [and experience] how it is to be in the water that way.”

As a symbolic response to this image, the artist invited four foreigners living in Stavanger to partake in the same action and launch themselves into the North Sea in Stavanger – the capital of oil and economy in Norway – to simply jump into the water…and float.

The film is an allegory to the gesture of ‘throwing oneself into something’, but to throw oneself into something is not only a physical act but also a decision with deep layers and meanings. To throw oneself into the void, to jump into the water; to throw oneself into situations in life or into the unknown. Life is always a limbo where one must take that kind of decision, either to stay watching from the fringes or decide to throw ourselves in, and invent wonderful machines to help us survive the journey that is to jump …