They built the widened coral reef (2019)

Mark Tholander

In They built the widened coral reef, we find ourselves in an unnamed compound with a group of co-workers engaged in conversations. They seem strangely distanced from each other, even though they are politely trying to converse. There is something unsaid in the conversations, something which has already happened and something which is still about to happen. A disaster lurks on the horizon, as the-coworkers are trying to perform their routines as if nothing is going to happen.

A restaurant owner is accompanying the house pianist through a seemingly infinite industrial kitchen where chefs cut and chop, sending vegetables flying. A couple eats dinner and speaks in great detail about the weather, while the landscape rushes past the restaurant's window as if they were sitting in a train compartment. The linear movement links the various scenes into a formal narrative of being on parallel lines that never meet. Only a few things seem to connect them, as the co-workers seem preoccupied with a group of musicians of which they can constantly hear, but which are always out of sight. Only when something disruptive enters the narrative, like a parasite, does disorientation arise.

Artist's Bio

Mark Tholander is a visual artist, educated at The Jutland Art Academy in Denmark. His practice most often takes the form of fictional narratives that revolve around the disorienting and that which is out of synch. He has previously shown his works at Rencontres Internationales (FR), Seattle Transmedia & Independent Film Festival (US), Korea Foundation Gallery (KR), Kunsthal Aarhus (DK), Beijing International Short Film Festival (CN) and INCA Institute (US).