The shadow of the object (unthought known)
Running Time 9 mins 37 (UK 2013)
“Object relations theory suggests that people relate to others and
situations in their adult lives as shaped by family experiences during
infancy. These images of people and events turn into Objects in the
unconscious that the person carries into adulthood, and are used by
the unconscious to predict people's behavior in their social
relationships and interactions.”
In his book ‘The shadow of the object’ psycholanalyst and author
Christopher Bollas describes that “the object can cast its shadow
without the child being able to process this relation through mental
representations or language. As the object affects us, we do know
something of its character, but we may not have thought it yet: this is
the ‘unthought known’".
During the period of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Soviet
Union established its largest factory for naval mines in the Baltic on
the island of Naissaar. The Soviets also used a
railway to connect the factory to the port. Naissaar under Soviet rule
was a military area and off-limits to the public.
When the Soviets left Naissaar in early 1993, they burned the
explosives in the naval mines, leaving a multitude of metal casings
scattered throughout the island. Many of these were scavenged as
scrap iron, but a field of mines is still visible near the wharf at
Mädasadam. Another legacy of the arms industry is that the soil of
the island remains contaminated by oil and heavy metals.
In 1995 Naissaar was converted into a nature reserve.
The film was shot using an iPhone in Estonia in 2013 during a trip to the nearly
unihabited island of Naissaar. The look and feel of the film loosely
mimics Andrei Tarkovsky’s film ‘Stalker' , filmed in Estonia during
Soviet times, with the island reminiscent of ‘the zone’. The unscripted improvised
voice over was recorded live in response to an edited version of the film.