The World of Private Islands, NGBK Berlin

People who own islands are said tob e romantics and a very particular type of people. For islands are place for yearning that promise simple happiness and contemplative solitude.Yet, they are not only a romantic havens but also status symbols and investment opportunities for a prestigious clientele. With his video installation, Fabian Bechtle addresses the trade with private islands and uses interviews, advertising clips and found footage to explore what motives both sides of this promising market. One of Bechtle’s interview partners for instance is Farhad Vladi, a particularly successful enterpreneur in global island brokerage business. Vladi owns not only Robinson Crusoe’s muzzle loader but at his Hamburg headquarters he also maintains an archive on more than12.000 islands which includes maps, photographs, certificates, inspection reports and correspondence with several island owners. (Antje Weitzel)

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“The World of Private Islands” was part of “DESERTMED – A project about deserted islands of the Mediterranean” at NGBK Berlin 2012.

Desertmed is an interdisciplinary research project. The “blind spots” on the European map serve as its subject matter: approximately 300 uninhabited islands in the Mediterranean Sea. A group of artists, architects, writers and theoreticians travelled to about 40 of the —often difficult to access— islands in search of clues, impartially cataloguing information that can be interpreted in multiple ways. The result is a pool of photographs, audio and video recordings, presented along with further artistic contributions. They examine the myriad ways in which the individual islands are used and – accordingly – their significant political, economic, and historical interrelationships.

Artists: Fabian Bechtle, Bik van der Pol, Leon Kahane, Deborah Ligorio, Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Luca Vitone and the Desertmed Collective: Giulia Di Lenarda, Giuseppe Ielasi, Armin Linke, Amedeo Martegani, Renato Rinaldi, Giovanna Silva with contributions by: Elina Axioti, Giulia Bruno, Daniele Ansidei, Aristide Antonas, Antonia Dika, Laura Fiorio, Stefano Graziani, Franck Leibovici, Donato Ricci

NGBK Project Group: Fabian Bechtle, Wilfried Kuehn, Armin Linke, Marina Sorbello, Antje Weitzel