Caminata Nocturna

Karl Ingar Røys’ Caminata Nocturna documents both the flight and pursuit of illegal economic migrants across the Mexico-U.S border. At least that’s what it initially appears to document. Actually, the video shows a facsimile of such events, a tourist sideshow put on by inhabitants of the town of Alberto, located 1242 miles from the border. This adventure-oriented vacation allows—mostly Mexican—tourists to experience and enjoy something like an illegal border crossing into the United States. The simulation of migrating hopes and fears in Alberto began in July 2004 as part of the Parque EcoAlberto program, an “eco-park” established with financing from the Mexican State.

Røys consciously foregrounds this question by placing the spectator between the dual screens and actively embracing the difficulties of representing a facet of capitalist economics like illegal migration. Yet Caminata Nocturna does more than attempt a simple representation; the video represents the tourist trek as ambiguously real, and it is only towards the end that doubts as to its veracity as an actual case of chase and capture begin to surface. In this way, Røys dissects the gloominess of economic migration and state control and uses it to construct a fictional topography. Caminata Nocturna works as a map or diagram that folds back into itself: an outside composed of both the capitalist image-world and vital, all-too-real questions of political sovereignty, economic exploitation and subjectivity. In as much as the video is about the trials of economic migration within global capitalism—labor necessarily following the flows of capital, risking severe penalties in the process—it is also about the dissimulation of experiential facsimile and images played out in Caminata Nocturna.
John Cunningham

Karl Ingar RØYS (born in Volda/NO) is based in Berlin, Oslo and London. His artistic strategies are founded in a critical research on images and symbols as subjectively controlled conveyable instruments. Contextual and narrative structures are reorganized in order to investigate underlying means of interest. The emphasis is put on the deconstruction and reconstruction of meaning in a predetermined or institutionalized context, where he explores and exploits the relationship between politics, economy and art.

Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen

Weiherburggasse 13
6020 Innsbruck, Austria
+43 512 278627