Private Project

Desert Island

'Desert Island' by Yasmijn Karhof is a sensual film that gets up close with two people. We see two lovers going through a passionate but imaginary love experience together. The work depicts being in love as a detached almost magical reality. A world within a world, where anything is possible. At the same time, this parallel reality also highlights the isolation from the outside world that can be experienced when in love; you are alone and lost in it.

The installation unfolds into a tangible emotional experience recognisable to many. A kind of daydream. What is real and what is imaginary? What is present and what is past? And how are memories, desires and dreams intertwined?

“A timeless film about the eternal longing for connection in being separated. That is the tragedy of human existence.” You can become one physically, but mentally we keep wandering about in our own minds. How she alternates two screens to underline the meaning is especially beautiful. The theme of love is a common thread in her oeuvre”, wrote curator Anne Berk.

  • Yasmijn Karhof
  • Yasmijn Karhof
  • Charlotte Bijl
  • Sofie Hoflack
    Key Cast
  • Hendrik Aerts
    Key Cast
  • Marinus Groothof
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Web / New Media, Other
  • Genres:
    love, romance, experimental, existentialism, nature, dream, nudity, the body, intimacy, Corona, touch
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Yasmijn Karhof
Distribution Information
  • Yasmijn Karhof
    Country: Netherlands
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Yasmijn Karhof

Yasmijn Karhof (1974) lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 2000 she graduated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (NL). Her studies included a stay at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York (US), and in 2005 she completed her residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (NL). In 2007 she lived and worked in Japan for six months.
As a multimedia artist, she uses photography, film, performance and installations in various combinations. Her films are observations on the way we interpret reality, and on the way our imagination always participates in and mediates this process.
Karhof’s work has been exhibited in national and international museums and galleries including ‘Museum Dr. Guislain’, Gent (Be) ‘Kunstmuseum’, Bonn (DE), ‘Nashville Film Festival’, Nashville (USA), ‘Museum de Paviljoens’, Almere (NL), ‘Youkobo Art Space’, Tokyo (JP), ‘A and A gallery’, Osaka (JP), ‘Centraal Museum’ Utrecht (NL), ‘Stedelijk Museum’, ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL), ‘Living Art Museum’, Reykjavík (IS), ‘The Fruitmarket Gallery’, Edinburgh (GB), ‘Fons Welters’, Amsterdam (NL) and ‘National Museum of Woman in the Arts’, Washington (US). Her video installation ‘Inner space/Outer space’ was granted the Dutch BNG Workspace award, and her film ‘Vessel’ with the Australian Screengrab International New Media Arts Award.

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Director Statement

Seeing is not merely registering impressions but interpretation. In my work, the visualization of reality at its most essential takes a central position. My films are observations on the way we interpret reality, and on the way our imagination always participates in and mediates this process.
The films begin with what seem like banal occurrences and end in an atmosphere of contemplation. Trivial incidents such as drinking coffee or watching raindrops crawling down a window pane can precipitate a sudden revelation for the characters of the film, so touching on deeper, less comprehensible aspects of life. For example the film project Play Within a Play visualizes the intense experience of intimate and ephemeral moments. Simple details appear as natural phenomena which engage the viewer and give an experience of the universal sensation of beauty. Seemingly prosaic actions, such as drinking a cup of coffee or consuming a bowl of miso soup, lead unexpectedly to moments of the sublime.
My films and video-installations focus on an individual's internal experience and explores how existential desires fuel our imagination.