Shortlisted for Dutch Doc Award 2013
A documented account of an undocumented resident of The Netherlands. Compiling an assortment of legal documents, postcards, transcripts of interviews, family photographs, and contemporary photographs taken by the photographer, the work gives a sense of the life of an illegal alien, as well as a sort of biography, though the documentation and photographs are anonymised. Bound in an A4 packet of papers which are sealed and must be opened, the medium promotes the feeling of both an official document, as well as a secret which must be kept, and to which we've been made privy. The work contains a 'complete' life and history of an alien, and yet, he is unknowable. In transcripts, he speaks of his life back in Niger, as well as his conflicting desires to return home and to be successful in The Netherlands. It's an insightful collaboration into a lifestyle rarely seen outside of shadows.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition A Possible Life. Conversations with Gualbertat the CBK Zuidoost Amsterdam 19 January - 7 April 2012.