Att byta namn – To Change Name (2013)
2013, one channel still image video projection with voice-over, 12:51 min
Projected onto a screen wall
Att byta namn (En alternativ reseskildring) / To Change Name (An Alternative Travelogue) is a slideshow with voice-over, a montage of texts and photos taken by Malin Pettersson Öberg during a trip to Japan in 2012. In the soundtrack we hear three female voices describing a kabuki theatre play in three different languages. In the Japanese and English passages we hear excerpts from the play’s catalogue, while the Swedish passages refer to Pettersson Öberg’s diary notes. The Japanese passages are not accompanied by images, while the others are; of more or less abstract close-ups of stage-like scenarios. In effect, these scenarios have nothing to do with theatre: they show architectural elements and landscape views from temples and other historical Japanese environments. The title of the work refers to a ceremony in the play where two actors are celebrated for ”changing name” – for stepping up one position within the Kabuki house; a part of the play that Pettersson Öberg interprets as fiction. The aim of the work is to explore the acts and processes of translation, change and transformation that takes place within the globalised world. What happens to our identity in the encounter with a different culture? How floating are the borders between what we consider as ”true”, fictive, invented, objective, subjective, ”real” or dramatised?
Att byta namn (En alternativ reseskildring) has been produced with the support of Dalarnas museum in Falun (Sweden) and the Helge Ax:son Johnson Foundation in Stockholm (Sweden) 2012. Voice-over: Hiroko Tsuchimoto, Anna Soléy Tryggvadottir, Malin Pettersson Öberg. Photographs: Malin Pettersson Öberg.