Zurich

Ursula Biemann

Helmhaus

A Palestinian is living in a refugee camp somewhere in Lebanon. His wife is still back in their village in the occupied territories. He manages to slip out of the camp unremarked and crosses the border to return home. He sleeps with his wife and returns to the camp the next day. His wife becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child. This happens several times. In the village, the authorities speculate about this woman’s steady flow of offspring. The villagers know exactly what is going on.

This story, from Ursula Biemann’s single-channel video essay X-Mission, 2008, exemplifies the subject of all four works shown here: the individual’s fate in a world of international migration. What is at stake is not globalization per se but rather the question of how a person lives without a homeland, over decades. The answers Biemann offers in her thirty-minute video can be illuminating, but they are

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