- Artist: Marine Hugonnier
- Creation date: 2006
- Object type: Video art
Marine Hugonnier describes her films as an anthropology of images. In her view there is no such thing as a pure gaze. Sensory perception is determined instead by a combination of cultural, political and factual circumstances.
Landscape is a recurrent theme in Hugonnier’s art. She is interested in the relationship between geography and history. How does landscape influence an economy? Does landscape shape social conditions? Questions like these are central to her film Travelling Amazonia, which explores the theme of a massive highway in Brazil on which work began in the early 1970s. The original plan was to build the highway parallel to the river Amazon, cutting through near impenetrable rainforest, reducing regional isolation and promoting economic growth. But the utopian project was soon abandoned, having resulted in only short stretches of road. The environmental impact of this construction work has been disastrous and the sections of road that were built have indirectly contributed to the plundering of the rainforest.
The film concentrates on the making of a dolly, a trolley used to support a camera during filming. In constructing the dolly, Hugonnier uses locally sourced rubber, wood and metal. The materials are taken from the surrounding natural environment and from local industries that were already there before work on the highway began.
The laborious work of producing the dolly ultimately results in a short sequence of film about the legendary road. The panning shot of the short dolly track can be seen as a reminder of how each incomplete journey is inevitably followed by another.