Magdalena Jetelova, Atlantic Wall, 1995.
The defense line of the wehrmacht bunkers, the Atlantic Wall, stretches along the Atlantic Coast from Norway all the way down to Spain. It was built between 1942 and 1944 to forestall the invasion of the allied forces into Europe. The concrete monoliths have not withstood the forces of nature over time: they do not have deep foundations and for that reason they are slanting and falling into the sea. Today, more than fifty years on, their concrete corpses are being gnawed away like large rocks by the pounding of the waves. The bunkers on the coast of the Jutland peninsula provide the backdrop for the laser projection of texts. The shifting of the original position and exact shape of the bunker is stressed by the shift in the meaning and shape of the text. The projected inscriptions are paraphrases of quotations with altered meaning from the book by the french philosopher Paul Virilio, published in 1975 under the title the Archeology of the bunker. In his book Virilio presents a typology of the bunker and the philosophy of the ‘military area’, reflecting on categories of violence and humanity in the context of war and military operations. The altered quotations from Virilio are adjoined to individual bunkers in such a manner that they evoke entirely new configurations of forms and situations: the ‘displaced’ text on the background of a shifting bunker. The whole that we see only exists virtually on photograph. The luminous inscription temporarily combined in the half-dark night with the mass of the bunker and the surrounding landscape: the meeting of human time with that of nature; a written text at the point of their intersection.