The sky behind the eyelids
18 Nov 2022 – 15 Jan 2023

The sky behind the eyelids (2021) is a speculative, decolonial and futuristic science fiction short film realized with 3D animation and 3D modeling. The work reflects on the opportunities brought by the current ecological crisis for internal and decolonial change as well as discovering new ways of life.

At the opening scene, a volcano crying over the age of extinction leads the viewer into a cosmic and emotional dimension. We glide along the dark water representing genetic, feminine, and planetary memory in a magical world whose only survivors are plant-based, fluid creatures. The flow carries the drifting wrecks, the remains of civilization and the ruins of colonialism past us to turn them into nutrition for the new world and future life forms.

The work is inspired by the lumbalú funeral rituals of the African diaspora, where women are the spinners of the spiritual fabric of the community, the performers of healing acts and the holders of cosmic knowledge. In the film, symbolic femininity also represents dark magic, the occult, emotion, desire, everything categorized as threatening, which subverts the established order.

Collective mourning unites the dead and the living in lumbalú as part of the history of colonialism and the current planetary crisis. Van der Kritz emphasizes how understanding the climate destruction is impossible without the context of colonialism. To quote Malcom Ferdinand, creator of the idea about decolonial ecology, slavery was not only a system that violently monopolized black bodies, but also participated in this violent way of inhabiting the Earth. Our bodies and world view are still dominated by these plantations of hidden violence. Van der Kritz has also been influenced by the concept of malungaje, how diverse people can recognize each other and create solidarity within the framework of radical darkness and suffering. Appropriately in African culture, each individual is called muntú, the singular form of the word bantú. Bantú describes the union and common energy of all entities, living, dead, human, animal, even minerals, that makes us one with our ancestors and our land.

Van der Kritz is a collective formed by Alejandra Van der Land (b. 1974) and Matias Kritz (b. 1973), based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The collective brings together artificial intelligence, technology, environment, generative music, contemporary theories, and speculative science fiction. In their latest production, they have sought out the symbiotic cosmos and ancestral memory as they address issues like the planetary crisis, capitalism, extractivism, exploitation and colonialism.

This exhibition is supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.