The Weather Forecast is the product of a sense of powerlessness, fed by the constant stream of images that confronts us in present times. They flooded my mind. The feeling of powerlessness, the ceaseless stream, and the overflow of images; they all came together in the footage of refugees attempting to reach Europe by sea.
I was astonished by Europe’s lack of willingness to take them in. I tried to understand what was at the basis of our Western view on borders and responsibility.
These images of people trying to survive on water, complemented by my love for stories, brought me to delve into the story of Noah’s Ark. I was struck by the perspective: the story revolves around the chosen ones that make it onto the Ark, but there is hardly any talk of the ones left behind to drown.
As research for The Weather Forecast, I made various short films about the story of the Ark, which awoke my interest in the role that water plays in our lives and how water stands as a signifier of how we are divided.
If you are wealthy enough, you can simply build your own ark for the deluge. If you are poor, well, tough luck. Surrounded by water, Europe is its own ark: we stay high and dry, while leaving the stragglers to drown.
The breaking of the levees in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina also illustrated the gap between rich and poor: people with means had the opportunity to flee the city before the water flooded the streets. The poor were left behind.
After creating the films, I decided to return to the images that had first troubled me. In the film installation, I combined found footage with my own.
The voice-over is a composition of texts that I wrote. One part of it speaks of my experience of being flooded in images, another focuses on weather predictions (you can never trust the weather forecast here in the Netherlands, it’s always off), while a third part discusses how to act to survive a flood. I wanted the text to add to the realisation that the control we believe we have over unexpected situations, is an illusion.