Back to 2069
A young Athenian exiled on the arid and militarised Lemnos island finds himself caught between two tragic plots haunting the territory: one from the past – the betrayal of the Argonaut Filoktitis, the other from the future – the dystopian war of the video game Arma II.
In the Arma II video game, the island of Lemnos, renamed Altis, is the centre of a battle waged by networked players across the world. One of the decors of this mission is inspired by the Filoktitis Hotel, which derives its name from Philoctetes, the argonaut that Ulysses abandoned on the island, and « Back to 2069 » invites us to a dizzying back-tothe- future. Interweaving game images gleaned from YouTube and those of a man exiled on the real island, Élise Florenty and Marcel Türkowsky bring together scattered and heterogenous solitudes in a collage of ambiguous images: what looks like archive footage but shot in current-day Super8 and the effect of reality through simulated images that faithfully reproduce the island’s geography. Meanwhile, voices migrate from one side to the other of ontological frontiers: the voices of the players walking around Altis on their computers visit Lemnos; the voice of the exiled man who drives the story takes off for Altis. Between the computer-generated sunset and the sunset filmed on the island, which has more substance? Even though our economy is largely virtual, surely it still determines the fate of humankind? In 2069, Greece may have finished paying off the interests of the “devouring debt” that was headlined during the 2009 crisis. Meanwhile, what will our anonymous exile have become? Will he be called on for help, as was Philoctetes in his time, when the Trojan War was being waged? Meanwhile, his gestures embody an act as simple as it is anachronistic: that of inhabiting a place.
Elise Florenty & Marcel Türkowsky are an artist-filmmaker duo based in Berlin-Paris. They have directed together several short and mid-length films exploring specific socio-political and historical situations through the prism of altered states of consciousness – lucid madness, hallucinations, dreams. They have received the EMAF award for The Sun Experiment (Ether Echoes) (2014) and Conversation with a cactus (2017). Their first monograph One head too many is published by Bom dia Books.