European Union Mayotte

Founded in 1993 by Danish artists Jakob Fenger, Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, and Rasmus Nielsen, the collective SUPERFLEX challenges the role of the artist in contemporary society and explores the nature of globalization and systems of power through a diverse and complex practice. SUPERFLEX describe their works as “tools,” suggesting multiple areas of application and use. At CAM, the SUPERFLEX film installation European Union Mayotte reflects upon migration, the dream of another life, and the front border of the European Union. Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar, is part of the Union of Comoros, one of the four Comoros Islands that were once part of a French Colony. Mayotte has maintained close cultural and political ties to France, and in 2014 was acknowledged as part of the EU, making it the Union’s outermost region.

The installation consists of two projections, one pictures a scene of a single boat in the ocean, sometimes with passengers visible, the other follows the production of a small fiberglass fishing boat on Anjouan, an island situated only 70 kilometers from Mayotte. In these small boats, people from Anjouan and the surrounding islands of the Comoros risk dangerous and illegal journeys in the hope of reaching Mayotte—in effect, the EU—journeys that have caused death by drowning for thousands of people.

SUPERFLEX: European Union Mayotte is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Wassan Al-Khudhairi, Chief Curator.