Site-specific visual art film by Monika Deimling and BBB Johannes Deimling
43:02 minutes, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil 2020-2021

01:27 minutes

Stuck in paradise
Text by Monika Deimling & BBB Johannes Deimling

On March 4th, 2020 we flew from Germany to Asuncion (Paraguay) and travelled from there via a green border to a farm in Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil). The plan was to start a one-month art research stay right at the border of these two countries. As
soon as we left the airplane, we started inhaling the surroundings, the different climate and culture. We took it in, and started talking about what we saw, experienced and felt in order to start the process of working on our new site-specific visual art
film. We stayed at a beautiful 500 ha farm, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by farm animals like cows, chickens, pigs, sheep, horses, but also wild animals like parrots, hummingbirds, alligators, snakes, toucans and many more. Let us not forget
about the rich variety of plants and flowers. In short, not only an ideal place for our film project, but also a little paradise where papayas, bananas and coconuts were growing for our pleasure.

At this time, in Europe and in South America, the situation with coronavirus was still not too bad and people were actually discussing if this is an epidemic or pandemic. No one thought that just a few days after our arrival the world would face a complete lockdown. …

… We are frequent and experienced travelers, so we took into consideration different possible consequences that we might face. So far, our planned departure felt good and safe since there were no travel restrictions – yet – and we had no doubts that
we’ll be able to return to Europe in one month.

We kept following the rapid changes in Europe and the rest of the world. In the statistics of the infections and deaths Brazil was not even listed for a good few weeks. We got quite confused by the fearsome language the news agencies were using in
their articles and politicians in their statements. Reading this news in a hanging mat under palm trees accompanied by parrots quarreling, all of this felt more and more sur- real and absurd since we had no comparison. Coronavirus was (still) far away.

Nevertheless, quicker than we could predict, the world reacted with massive restrictions to the outbreak of the virus. Two weeks after our arrival, our flight back got cancelled with no alternative option given. A few days later Paraguay closed its
borders and we found ourselves trapped in Brazil with an entry stamp of Paraguay in our passports. Suddenly, it meant that we cannot cross the border, nor travel to another city in Brazil. Contacting our embassies was a bit of a joke since we got
mutually exclusive answers on our questions. We understood that we were in a quite difficult situation. All this contradictory information made us feel like our stay was somewhat illegal. Our decision was to simply stay in paradise until we get a safe chance to go back to Europe. …

… Since we were stuck for an indefinite time, we decided to dive into the life and work at the farm and its surroundings. We raised and took care of the chickens, helped with planting all kinds of fruits and vegetables in the garden, and sooner than we thought, we were part of the all-day farm life. This decision and the work itself helped us very much in the making of the film. We got the chance to zoom into the life and essence of the farm and also to zoom out and see the bigger picture of the site and the landscape. First, we saw a tree, then the bark and then the plants with insects on it. Then we could see the palm tree in connection with vegetation and its connection to the whole environment. Day by day we discovered more and more of the beauty and its potential for our filming process. The more time passed with us being on the farm, the more we understood how the time was influencing the way we perceived the site. In this particular observation we saw a huge potential for our film and tried to use the time to experiment and dialogue with the site. The connection of time and site was an important motor for making the film.

We were so lucky to be able to spend time on the farm and we felt very privileged. We had plenty of space to roam freely around. We rode horses and went swimming in the river. We did everything that our friends in Europe and other parts of the world were not able to do since they were locked in their homes. But having these troubles in mind we understood that we are able to capture something for them which we all put into the film: a desire that is intricately connected to earth, nature and site. The obvious result: our film turned into a 43-minute-long artistic experience.

In the end, we stayed in Brazil for more than three months. A mixture of luck and great support of our families, friends and locals eventually brought us back to Europe. This was quite a 42-hour Odyssey accompanied by face masks and hand sanitizer, controls and paper work. We arrived at home when the situation in Brazil got worse and in Europe it slowly got better. In these months, we were where coronavirus was not that present. …

Printed catalogue
148x105mm (A6), 56 pages, softcover

This little catalogue is an extension to the film. It contains images of the place and its beautiful vast nature, including still images of the film. Together with the texts by Monika Deimling & BBB Johannes Deimling on the film making, they give a good impression about the whole creative process and all-day life during the artistic research stay. Furthermore, the catalogue contains a text by Burim Tafilica extending the thoughts on the film and finally some drawings by Monika Deimling.

Price: €14 (worldwide shipping included)
Order the catalogue here