The Other Walk
an installation by Trinh T. Minh-ha and Jean-Paul Bourdier
This installation was presented on the ramp from June 2006 to June 2009.
It is often said in Asia that the miracle is not walking on water but walking on the ground. Walking is an experience of indefiniteness and of infinity. With each step forward, one receives the gifts of the universe.
The passage of the other into oneself, the route taken between images, sounds and aphorisms, or between the said and the seen, along the ramp is an initiation walk that takes in Asian, African and American cultures. With each step taken, relations between passage, passer-bys and passing time are activated. The questions that the sensory experience raises may incite the visitor to reflect on their activity at that very moment in their position as visitor – spectator- researcher.
Meaning changes with every step and with the appearance and disappearance of the lit aphorisms. The journey along the ramp becomes like a “rite of passage” of which the fluid movement across the three stages, “Transition”, “Transformation”, and “Opening”, is accompanied by corresponding sounds and visual rhythms.
A particular rhythm, sound and music correspond to each stage of L’Autre marche. A sequence of images from a specific culture (Senegal: Toucouleur, Mandingue, Diola and Soninke; Yemen; Vietnam; China; Japan; Indonesia; America) corresponds to each screen.
The visitor becomes aware of Themself, the Other and the World in the space between. Passing both inside and outside the museum, the journey along the ramp is also the passage from the human world to the vegetable, animal and mineral world. Access to another world is characterised by work which extends to the visual limit, between the immateriality of the light-image projections and the sound resonances and the materiality of the artefacts exhibited in the museum.
The installation includes:
- 19 digital video sequences projected onto screens, the floor and the two side walls of the ramp;
- 3 auditory sequences;
- 19 aphorisms projected on the floor, the guard-rails and the walls of the ramp.
I. SELF AND THE OTHER
With each step, the world comes to us
(With translations in Arabic, Chinese and Swahili)
The between museum
The illusion of a stable trail in the river
The watching image
II. THE WORLD WITHIN THE SELF
With each step, a flower blooms beneath our feet
(With translations in Korean, Portuguese, Bahasa and Russian)
The other’s speed
In the moment, time is infinite
The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon
III. THE OTHER WITHIN THE SELF
Learn to walk again
(with translations in Spanish, Farsi and Ancient Egyptian)
this image that I am
with the other’s ear
know through non-knowing
moving into oneself opens onto the other
the world is like a drop of dew that
at the first sun rays evaporates (Sereer Proverb)
© musée du quai Branly, photos Nicolas Borel