Postcard to a Ballerina

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It is almost archetypical: the lone experienced traveller who in the midst of the monotony of a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway invites you to hear the tale of one of the many incidents he experienced along the way. This is how Eva Koch’s “Postcard to a Ballerina” is built up.

The viewer meets Jørgen Hansen Koch, the artist’s cousin, who relates an anecdote, while the Russian landscape glides past the windows of the train: a series of small stopping places, where the locals peddle their wares to the passengers and huge flat expanses where sky and the earth seem to merge.

The ballerina of the title gives intimations of a fairy-tale. And the story has to do with a post card bearing a Russian stamp depicting a ballerina, a post card that nearly made the narrator miss his train when he tried to send it to a girlfriend one early morning on the border between Russia and Mongolia. What, one wonders, had he written on the post card to the ballerina, who we can already see pirouetting in our imagination? We are never told, but we sense that it was worth more than a story.

Eva Koch © 2004

Text by Mai Misfeldt