‘Night Journey’, 2019, Maia Urstad. Foto: Mikkel Høgh Kalpal

NATTEFÆRD (NIGHT JOURNEY)
Sounds from goods in motion, creaking and rattling, blurred sounds and fragmented voices in the passenger compartments mixed with intermittent garbled train announcements from another country, interlaced with layered real-time messages captured from within the night train from Struer to Copenhagen. From the departure from Struer late in the evening at 11:17pm till the arrival in Copenhagen the next morning at. 5:44am.

Hypnagogia is the stage between being awake and asleep. In this state letters on a page dance and meanings twist in new directions. This state of being is the inspiration for Nattefærd (Night Journey) – spending “slow time” on the rails from one distant place to another, gives an opportunity to conjure this altered state – in this sound installation from a DSB (Danish State Railways) couchette, which once drove through the night back and forth from Struer to Copenhagen in the period between 1987 and 1997.

Distance is an imaginary quantity in the couchette, as well as in slumber, dreams move closer to a surface and the notion of places far away gets under the skin, raising up into the compartment of memories and through to the palpable world of the senses. 

The next station is a stop someplace on the globe. Copenhagen, Kumamoto, Krakow… The platform plays as a starting point, and the conductor’s blown whistle signals as an opportunity, a kick off. Slow time, three days at a window, moving scenery, streams of thought… Passport, Visa, language, escape, future, hope. Welcome aboard!

Photo: Mikkel Høgh Kalpal
 
Nattefærd (Night Journey) was commissioned by STRUER TRACKS 2019.
Curated by: Christian Skovbjerg Jensen
Technical team: Gert Yde Jacobsen, Henrik Möller, Andrea U. Toft
Voice, train information on the distance Struer - Copenhgagen: Gert Poulsen
Train information in multiple languages collected by: Jacob Kreutzfelt, Peter Meanwell, Andrea U. Toft, Michel Mutambayi, Maia Urstad
Special thanks to: Director of Struer Tracks: Jacob Kreutzberg, Kaj Rasmussen and the staff at Struer Railway Museum, Nicholay and Michelle, Gert Poulsen, Amanda Appel, Eva Rowson, Lars Ove Toft, Sissel Lillebostad, Christian Skjødt, and everyone at Struer Tracks.

More information: https://struertracks.dk/

Press extracts:
SEISMOGRAF, DK: (Danish only) «Det er dog på Struer Havn, man finder biennalens bedste værker.
I Nattefærd (2019) undersøger den norske kunstner Maia Urstad stadiet mellem vågen tilstand og søvn, også kaldet hypnagogia. Værket er installeret i en DSB-liggevogn, som kørte mellem Struer og København i perioden 1987-97. Mens man går rundt og stikker hovedet ind i kupéerne, høres lyden af gods i bevægelse og meddelelser fra konduktører på russisk og kinesisk. Det er lyden af det ukendte, men det er også en lydlig rutsjetur tilbage til dengang, man tilbragte ‘langsom tid’ i nattog; dengang, man blev vækket af en person eller et mekanisk ur eller bare lyden af en travl banegård – ikke af lyset fra en vibrerende mobiltelefon. Nattefærd minder os om nattens bittesmå signaler, de lyde, vi husker eller gik glip af: lyden af tiden, som engang sneglede sig langsomt gennem togenes små soverum.»