Nanna Debois Buhl

[Installation view (Photo: Anders Sune Berg)]

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The Mapmaker, 2008

Film, 2 custom carpets, seating, 8m 0s, Dimensions Variable

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By studying the use of cartography in 18th century colonial administration, I am interested in how mapping and naming are used as methods to claiming land. While Joseph Conrad describes the areas to become colonized by western nations as "white spots on the map," I find it interesting to reflect on how these places had enormous economical impact in the colonial mother nations and yet at the same time they have once again become "blank spaces" in our national self understanding.

The installation "The Mapmaker" contains a film as well as two tapestries. A floor carpet depicts the first Danish map drawn of St. Croix (1750), and an expedition photo from St. Croix (1911) is transformed into a panoramic wall tapestry. The film consists of a text, in which I reflect on the acts of mapping, naming and photographing as ways of occupying a space, as well as on how the routes of the colonizer to some extend are continued by the routes of the tourist today.

Artworks by Nanna Debois Buhl

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