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Trisha Baga 1620 2020 Image by Rob Battersby Installation view at FACT WEB RES

In 1620, Trisha Baga deploys approaches used in sci-fi filmmaking and speculative fiction to explore the mythology of Plymouth Rock. This was the site where Pilgrims first supposedly set foot in the (now known) United States of America, and has since been commemorated as a geological symbol of European colonisation.

In the film, fragmented stories of ‘pre-colonial’ America are extracted from ‘narrative stem cells’ within the rock. These are reconstructed and enacted by DNA USA, an experimental playhouse troupe of time-travelling geneticists who attempt to bioengineer and re-narrate America out of its current problematic story arc. With the development of each act, the narrative frame fractures repeatedly, mimicking how media technology has changed the way we tell and read stories over time.

Baga ruminates on biological and technological mutations, where organic and electronic reprogramming could alter national and cultural myths. Punctuating these entanglements, Baga intersperses imagery from post-colonial societies from the viewpoint of her own ancestral connection to the Philippines, and its history of occupation.

Courtesy of the artist. Co-production of Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, with the additional participation of Gió Marconi, Milan and SOCIÉTÉ, Berlin.