Bellona (after Samuel R. Delany)
3D animation, leaning screen, sound
Bellona is the fictional city of Samuel R. Delany’s 1974 science fiction cult classic Dhalgren. It is a place beyond reason, where time and space are out of joint and architectural fixtures seem to be in constant flux and transformation. In Lislegaard’s 3D animation, Bellona is a psychological space, in which norms and standards seem to dissolve into chaos of anti-hierarchical conditions. A shifting labyrinth of displaced memories and inexplicable events, where lights switch on and off and doors and windows open and shut without any apparent reason. Bellona is an unsettling place; a science fiction terrain of pivoting walls, suspended globe lambs and strange infernos.
[Voiceover]: You ask me what place the image of this city of Bellona holds in the minds of those who have never been here. How can I presume to suggest? There are times when these streets seem to underpin all the capitals of the world. Other times, I confess, the whole place seems a pointless and ugly mistake, better obliterated than abandoned. The miracle of order has run out and I am left in an unmiraculous place where anything can happen. What use does anyone have for two moons? There is a deceiving warmth that asks nothing. Objects are lost in double-light. What makes it terrible is that in this timeless city, in this spaceless preserve any slippage can occur. Sometimes it seems as if all these walls on pivots are controlled by subterranean machines, so that, after one passes, they might suddenly swing to face another direction, parting at this corner, joining at that one, like a great maze – forever adjustable, therefore unlearnable.
Installation views: 51st Venice Biennale, Danish Pavillion, Venice, 2005; Bellona, Murray Guy, New York, 2005; Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Esbjerg, 2006; Paraspace, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, 2015; Speaking in Tongues, Andriesse-Eyck, Amsterdam, 2012