Mats Hjelm: WHITE FLIGHT
5–27 April 1997
“Mats Hjelm’s ‘White Flight’ at Galleri Index is a story about black America and a journey through a technological ruin landscape. Broken facades and abandoned buildings sweep past, filmed from a moving car. A smooth image flow, at once gloomy and seductive. An endless stream, accompanied by Donizetti. /…/ ‘White Flight’ is a work of art that manages to use the digital technology of today without getting caught up in a fascination for the possibilities of the media. It is something as unusual as a high-tech work of art that creates visual desire – as a viewer you are sucked into the flow and have to make an effort to make yourself free. The sequences follow each other rhythmically. Just as you want to get up, the next tidal wave comes. /…/ Anyone who wants an educational history of the Black Power movement should look elsewhere – ‘White Flight’ wants something completely different. It intertwines a son’s journey with that of a dead father, and it lets a prophetic and hopeful past emit power in a time without its own light. It also tells a dark tale about technology.”
Translated quote from DN, 1997-04-11, Daniel Birnbaum. Read full text in Swedish.
“Mats Hjelm’s video installation ‘White Flight’, which is reportedly a ‘developed documentary’, consists of two video projections next to each other that deal with the change in the conditions of black people in the car city Detroit. The location is charged. During the Black Power movement of the 60’s, the biggest racial riots in US history took place in the city. Mats Hjelm’s father, the documentary filmmaker Lars Hjelm, worked there during this time. Lars Hjelm’s material has now been mixed with Mats Hjelm’s own video recordings from a contemporary journey in his father’s footsteps. The presentation is technically reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s sixties work ‘Chelsea Hotel’, where two films are shown next to each other and a third form of reading emerges in the meeting between the two.”
Translated quote from SvD, 1997-04-02, Hans Hedberg. Read full text in Swedish.