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MFA Fine Art

Marijn Dijkmeijer

The Nervous System


The Nervous System is a film about how animals live inside other animals as stories live inside other stories. The film deals with how stories can crawl, mutate, wait and attach, similar to what insects can do. It departs from the idea that stories – fiction, and nonfiction – shape our understanding of reality. The project consists of animation, filmed footage, and drawings. The tone of the video fluctuates between factual and poetic. It starts like a documentary, telling stories about the evolution of organisms, and that all humans are in symbiosis with other living things. But at a certain point, it’s unclear if the symbiotic relationship is benign, or parasitic.

The enquiry expands into an e-mailing project where the film is sent to people who contribute to the story, by telling the tales that the video consists of. People are asked to watch the film and respond with a thought, an anecdote, or a story. They can also contribute with a visual contribution, like an image or a drawing. All the contributions are gathered and edited to create a parallel story, a mutation of the narrative of the film. Hence, the way the stories can travel, and transform is emphasized. The project examines the mutual relationship between the film and the viewer and how they affect each other.

The nervous System