Eline McGeorge’s work revolves around distorted places, spaces and characters and travel or navigation across them. Through abstraction and fragmented portrayal of these locations and characters, the artist engages with the politics and psychology that governs them. Individual titles of McGeorge’s works such as ‘Travelling Doubles’, ‘Ontological Candidate, Navigator’, ‘Departure of a Stranger’, ‘Among Familiar Strangers and Surveilled Spaces’, ‘Resumed Arrival’, ‘Possibility of Another Place’ and others often underline these concerns. For McGeroge, a turn to the non-figurative is a way to come to terms with other forms of abstraction – a way to describe and enter political, philosophical and psychological concepts.
McGeorge’s installations combine works across a range media including drawing, collage, montage, posters, photographs and sculptures. These elements function as fragments which are in dialogue with each other.
McGeorge’s work in Favoured Nations is centered around a script which doubles up as a voiceover in the animation and a printed publication available to be read in the space. The animation forms the central point of an environment which also includes a number of posters, works on paper and sculptures.
The animation and the script revolve around a loose narrative set in a ‘zone’ in which borders separate and restrict the movements of the main character, who in turn, makes attempts to find a way out. The zone is strictly governed and politicized and maps out the mental space of the character. The character’s travel out of the zone is related to her opposition to the commodified political, psychological, ideological and social setting the zone imposes on its residents. The ‘other side’ of the crossing is an unknown topography, and through her laptop, the character tries to navigate into this zone and find information she thinks is lost or censored. The story revolves around her attempts to communicate across the zone’s firewall, the compatibility problems with the computer systems outside the zone, her recovery from hypothermia, altitude sickness, uprooted-ness and the breakdown of communication technology that also separates her from a troubled relationship (to her own past and/or to other people) inside the zone.
Her political dissidence, activist work and troubled personal relationships become mixed with the reality of incompatible information ontologies and computer systems, blocked digital information and unreliable communication technology. The separation in time and space depends more on the barriers of digital technology and its function/dysfunction and a mixed up mental account of her relations in the zone constructed in her feverish recovery, than on the actual distance she has traveled.
The work cross-references the parallel use of the term ontology in both philosophy and computer technology, and refers to cognitive estrangement in science fiction theory.There are suggestions to a situation where information technology and the Internet both allow true democracy and the true police state, and where the freedom of speech also allows words to loose a sense of actuality.
Eline McGeorge was born in Oslo, Norway in 1970 and currently lives and works in Berlin and London.