Emotions, the imagination and more generally, "sensuous knowledge", are irreducible facts of human existence and integral parts of reality. To appeal to these aspects of reality through fictionalization is what I aim at with my art. It is absolutely necessary for me to reach beyond commonly accepted "human reason" – those attempts to contain, or brand as "irrational" the aspects of reality that are outside the rational, or are commonly referred to as unconscious, or belonging to some "primitive" layer of humanity. I am interested in power structures and how they affect an individual subject, its mental conditions, economies of desire and social behaviour. The central theme of my work is systematic violence on the micro-level of everyday life, our understanding and relation to "evil", and the conditions behind it. I wish to address the relation between these micro-levels of experience and individual action with larger questions regarding the history of modernity – the power structure and social order of the modern state and its regime of identity and identification, set against the backdrop of a haunting colonial past and post- colonial present-day reality.
By making film I explore different kind of social relationships and try attempt to understand mental processes. The close study of human behaviour is my means - since it is through performative behaviour in all its conscious and unconscious, explicit and implicit aspects that we generate and shape the relationships to others as well as ourselves. My interest is in particular focused on drawing attention to the interplay between control and desire, failure and imperfection, and to the ambivalence of identity that permeates all concepts based on the idea of identity.
In my art I am interested in visibility as an inter-subjective and political structure, where aesthetics always already form a bridge between the individual and society, and where thus the individual and its psyche can rejoin its communal roots. From this vantage point I emphasize the complexity of human beings, and the very contradictions, and hypocrisy, at the heart of individuality.
Individual and collective trauma – the effects of violence – whether conscious or not, keep us bound to repetition. Ultimately, my work raises the question of whether it is possible to break away from this often self-fulfilling prophecy of individual suffering in order to create awareness of the psychological mechanism of the "double bind"? For in repetition, there is always transformation, too. In order to make this transformative power available, the appearance of "reality" as "real" and "given" has to be challenged. This can be achieved through fiction.
— Virlani Hallberg, 2012