The manifold aspects of the current crisis (socioeconomic, political, as well as environmental) force us to reconsider our lives, reformulating previous beliefs in the wake of a changed reality. Rosie Heinrich’s multidisciplinary project We always need heroes (2020) explores such a myriad turn of perspectives. Listening to witnesses of Iceland’s financial crash of 2008 – or Cultural Crash, as it has locally been dubbed – the impossibility to bring order to experience ‘outside narrative’ is unveiled. The system has failed, the unknown must be embraced. The storytelling of bankers and politicians is dispelled as myth, and trust and belief left in tatters. The simulacrum of the national identity institutional stories had forged is a fable, an ancient saga and a ‘remarkable misconstruction’ at that.

We always need heroes presents a lucid narrator, a ventriloquist and alternative to the puppeteers who had tried to hold the reins for too long. The narrator invents a new story, points to the bodies of speakers as she marks their breath and hesitant mutters, delineates meaning as slippery, and terms as dangerous and vacuous tools. Trying to ground the words in the world, instead of disconnecting them, she wonders how an alternative language system might function. Coming to terms with the fiction that surrounds her, both present and past, she asks her audience to do the same: to ‘re-member’ throwing the perspectives wide open. New relations must be forged, not only between words and worlds, but also between the human and the landscape with which they live. We always need heroes reflects and speculates on finding articulations for the crisis itself and the future directions we might take.



Kindly written by Ilse van Rijn



︎essays on We always need heroes:
The space beyond boundaries, Lucy Cotter
On how there is no one ‘NÆRƏTꞮV, Céline Mathieu
The meaning depends on the contentlessness, Saskia Monshouwer


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