Un-Home / Moving Stones (2015-ongoing)

Un-Home / Moving Stones1 focuses on the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion of uninvited newcomers to our Western societies. Whether documented or not, migrants entering Europe are facing ever more restrictive policies. Moreover, in the guest-countries they are confronted with a social climate of growing polarised discourse and controversy.
Likewise, the uninvited newcomer is forcibly placed ‘in limbo’ – in a border zone stuck between the past and the future, between expectations and reality, between ‘home’ and ‘un-home’.

Filip Berte aims at consciously standing still at different places in Europe that are characterised by this liminal ‘in-limbo’-state, such as refugee camps or asylum seekers’ registration- and reception centers; they are sites that embody a border crossing or ‘rite de passage’, they are the waiting rooms where people are received, but where at the same time they can be tracked down, traced and controlled, and where the decision on their next station in life will be made.

Exactly at these sites, Berte installs a Momentum: an onsite critical intervention whereby he is trying to bring to life Plato’s allegory of the cave by means of a camera obscura. A first Momentum took place in 2015 at the Registration and Procedure center for asylum-seekers in the Swiss-French bordertown of Vallorbe; A place where the presence of a natural limestone cave even reinforces its mythical status of being a ‘passage’ place. The archetype of the Cave is the ultimate place of transition between an inner and outer reality, where mythology, philosophy, geology and ancient history come together.

The camera obscura, which Filip Berte uses as medium for his interventions, is made in the form of a replica of a stone from the cave in Vallorbe. This camera obscura-stone actually is a scaled representation of the Cave.
In 2016 Berte went with his camera obscura-stone to Scherpenheuvel (litterally translated: ‘sharp hill’) for a new Momentum. This small Belgian town, mostly known as an age-old Christian pilgrimage site, since 2015, in the so-called Peeterskasteel offers emergency accommodation for refugees. At this site, during several days Berte focused his eyes and devoted all of his attention to the castle and its new, temporary inhabitants.

  1. Un-Home/ Moving Stones is an ongoing project, of which the first phase has been realised within the framework of and is supported by Arc artist residency in Romainmôtier (CH)
    In 2016, with his project Un-Home, Filip was laureate of the TTT International Festival for Contemporary Drawing in Wrocław (PL).