Keimena #9: The Forgotten Space
by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch

Monday February 13, 2017, 24:00 on ERT2
The Forgotten Space, 2010, USA, 112 min.
Directors: Allan Sekula and Noël Burch

American artist Allan Sekula made The Forgotten Space after he was invited to create a work of art in a public space. He thought it important to understand television as such a public space and set out to make a film for national television with his co-director, the Paris-based American film theorist Noël Burch.

The idea was to bring popular attention to another space that is often out of sight, or too vast to take in and therefore forgotten, even if it is essential for the running of the world economy. A space where globalization meets the sea: the docklands.

Up until his untimely death in 2013, Sekula was a tireless chronicler of the workings of ports, of seafaring, and of the lives affected by the standardization of global production, transport, and trade. Inside galleries and museums, he presented combinations of photographs and texts, slides and sound recordings. But in Noël Burch he found a master of the film form, who helped him translate this vast research into a succinct “film-essay.” At just under two hours long, it can be presented, as it is today, inside the public space of television. The Forgotten Space connects far-flung places and people from the ports of Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Bilbao to the hinterlands of China and Europe. It is a kind of detective story about the workings of global capital narrated, precisely and poetically, by Sekula himself.

This film contains many clues to understanding the current predicament of Athens in the broader global economy. Certainly, the progressive transfer of control over the Port of Piraeus to the China Cosco Holdings Company cannot be fully grasped without watching The Forgotten Space

—Monika Szewczyk, Curator documenta 14

Posted in Public TV on 02.13.2017