dark, liquid. On knowledge and non-knowledge about the sea
08.12.2017 – 13.01.2018
Angela Glajcar, Rona Lee, Reiner Maria Matysik, Jenny Michel, Gregor Peschko, Roger Wardin
Curator: Julia Heunemann
The exhibition “dark, liquid” gathers artistic positions and scientific pieces in order to question their knowledge of an object that, as complex as it is unstable, goes beyond categories and seems to be as well-known as lastingly fascinating: the sea.
The exhibition addresses the forms of knowledge that contemporary artists and researchers operate with, when dealing with this only medially measurable space. It focusses on the correspondences arising when, for example, contemporary sculptures encounter recording systems of deep-sea research or when scientific specimens meet sound installations.
Under which conditions does a video work produce knowledge about the sea and which aesthetics do oceanographic research instruments employ? Or, what might color, banned on canvas, know about the continuous movement of the oceanic? Last but not least, the exhibition questions how oceanic knowledge is necessarily determined by specific practices, media and objects – and to what extent the sea in turn liquefies and renegotiates the boundaries between art and science as well as between factual and fictitious knowledge.
The paintings of Roger Wardin know a lot about the sea. On his canvases, the Berlin based artist explores the materials and physical processes of oceanic space and transfers its contingency to the practice of painting. Reiner Maria Matysik’s biofacts, models of living beings between nature and culture, echo deep-sea creatures whose lifestyles, both in popular and biological knowledge, soften the boundaries between fact and fiction. Jenny Michel’s sound installation is based on technical and biological drawings. It organically proliferates on the walls and acoustically explores the gallery space and the exhibited research equipment. In his video, Gregor Peschko explores contemporary art presentation at the interface between surface and depth. Transparency and depth also play a prominent role in Angela Glajcar’s layered paper works. In conjunction with geological specimens, they open up perspectives on forms of cartographic visualization and temporality, as well. The videos and sculptures by English artist Rona Lee were developed in direct exchange with oceanographers and feminist theory. They entangle the “negative” space below the sea surface with the subconscious and, at the same time, provide shapes for the non-knowable.
The exhibition was realized with the generous support of Northumbria University for Rona Lee’s participation in the exhibition and with the district development funds of the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. With thanks for loans and further support to: GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel, Gerd Hoffmann-Wieck, and Tracey Williams of Lego Lost At Sea.