HD video, 45 minutes
In the video there are three main characters: Me, my friend Jarno and the Greek language; the language that, (or the descendant of the language that,) gave birth to Western philosophy, poetry and drama. In this project I wanted to take the Greek language completely out of its “natural element” in two ways: By filming in a completely different country, and by filming a conversation between two people whose native language is not Greek. So I decided to invite my Finnish friend Jarno, who is married to a Greek woman and speaks the language fluently, to come to Iceland and talk to me.
«Jarno,» I wrote to him, in broken Greek. «I can speak Greek now. I taught myself to speak Greek. I don’t speak it fluently, but I get by. I am in Iceland. I want you to come to Iceland and talk to me. We’ll wander around in the Icelandic lava fields and we’ll talk about stuff, in Greek, like two Stoic philosophers in the Athenian agora, except instead of tunics and sandals, we’ll be wearing anoraks and woolly hats. Two Nordic Stoics. And Iceland is Nordic Extreme.»
We set out on a windy morning in November, on the Reyjkanes peninsula, and we ended up discussing a number of different topics; the current political situation in Poland, postmodernism, mass extinctions, tourism in Iceland and unemployment in Greece.