The routines, the charm and the forma mentis of the people of Iceland through a series of monologues in which the various protagonists tell their stories. The result is a spellbinding cross-section of life in Iceland, a concentration of anthropological and folkloristic aspects: the illusion of affluence spread across all levels of society, myths and pantheistic faith, the ancestral habits of a community imbued with a strong sense of belonging. All this provides the cultural and economic sub-stratum for an entire generation of kreppa babies, literally “children of the crisis”, who take their first steps on ground made impervious and insidious thanks to recent worldwide economic upheaval. Thus the clearest manifestation of history’s nemesis,in which crimes of fathers – guilty of having wholeheartedly adhered to the Western capitalist system and, worst of all, having blatantly succumbed to the magnetic lure wielded by the United States – must inexorably be paid for by their children. Indeed, the foisting of a sophisticated financial superstructure upon a nation formerly void of speculative vocation and to this day in search of a place, in political terms, in the world, had devastating repercussions. Utterly unprepared to bear the brunt of the shock waves sent out by the American banking fiasco of 2009, that gamble cost Iceland dearly.
Author’s note: Tralalà was born from the project Kreppa Babies that has been developed in 2008 during what we call the “Icelandic chapter” or better: a series of video-art projects which we completed during our stay in Iceland which lasted several months. Our interest in this place was born not so much because of the natural beauty that characterize the island but because it seemed an absolute contemporary metaphor for the modern Western society. Geologically the island has been created by the collision of the North American plate with the Eurasian one and it’s one of the few places in the world where the line connecting the two plates is on land and clearly visible, this fracture is divided by millennia of about two centimeters a year thus creating a pillow area defined by geologists “ground zero” that will lead in future millennia to a division of the island into two distinct parts. At this point we started the idea of imagining Iceland to be the chosen place for a reflection on what today is dividing and uniting our being “Western”. We got in touch with their social reality in a moment of transition from being the country with highest standards of life to the first signs of inflation and an impending crisis. We were just fascinated by things like the strong matriarchal tendency of society, the emphasis on children as the glue of extended families, the predisposition to a pantheism connected to the earth and its elements in contrast to the Lutheran culture of obedience and work, the melancholy and depth of their spirit, the globalization of American roots which gets more and more present in this area that clashes in relation to the proud and strong attachment to traditions and their ethnic roots but makes them still travelers and receptors of continuous external cultural stimuli in the sign of their Viking ancestors. During our stay we also learned about philosophical – esoteric relationships, between the imaginary of pure-bread and the development of the Aryan race which characterized the arrival of the Nazism and how latent the wish was to preserve the Icelandic gene on a genetic level. Finally, we met people who have given with their testimony the structure for the project. Thanks to a number of aspects of anthropological and folklore nature, we have been provided an illusion of widespread prosperity on all levels, myths and ancestral habits of a community. All this makes up the economic and cultural substrate of an entire generation of Kreppa Babies, “children of the crisis”, that move their first steps on a ground which has been broken by recent worldwide economical upheavals: hence the clearest manifestation of the nemesis history, in which the sins of the fathers – guilty of being at party with the western capitalist system without hesitation and especially to have suffered meekly the magnetic attraction exerted by the United States – surely fall on the children. In fact, the installation of a sophisticated financial superstructure in a nation free from speculation and vocations, still seeking its political placement in the worldwide stage has had devastating side effects: a gamble paid a high price for by an unprepared reality to absorb the shocks of the U.S. bank collapse in 2009.
August 27, 2014