Video and installation with print on textile, 300x200x600cm, Gallery Nova, 2021
Two Way Surge as if There Was no Other
I’ve been looking at the maps recently, the charts of rivers, thinking about where they start, how they flow, where they end. Also thinking about the historical, economical and social significance of the rivers – how so much cargo was and is still carried by the rivers, settlements and cities are built on the river docks. In terms of geopolitics the majority of rivers are shared by different countries. In terms of geology so much is dislodged and so much resurfaces through the work of rivers. Doreen Massey in her Landscape as a provocation: reflections on moving mountains speaks of landscapes as constantly evolving, in the state of becoming, how million year ago place that you are standing at might have been South and now is North.
She uses the example of Lake District currently in UK – mountain Skiddaw, which is made up of particular type of sedimented slates dating from 500 million years ago at which point of slates’ sedimentation they were South of the equator somewhere near the South pole. Over the course of history these rocks of Skiddaw crossed the equator and now, they are where they are in Lake district – North of equator.
She also speaks of landscape and rocks as immigrant rocks – always on the move – unlocatable. And gives an example of how a huge rock, which washed up on the banks of river Elbe in Hamburg turned out not to be a ‘local’ rock at all but originating in the melting Nordic glaciers. The rock was named Hamburg’s ‘oldest immigrant’ in a poster of a campaign around immigration rights.
There is so much about rivers that is fixed, accountable, expected but so much that is in flux and unpredictable, with unknown, undiscovered, and unrealised potential. So the questions that come up here are about uncovering or triggering this potential. How do we enable movement? How do we articulate this in the work, through the medium? How to embody potential of rage?
What is the movement in the work here? There is a surge, a gust, unstoppable flow of fabric ascending in wave like forms from the wall. The composition weighted down by the gravity but the composition also resists this gravity through being suspended, elevated of the ground as if caught mid-way flow. Bodies that are flowing down on the prints are balancing, rearticulating ways in which to support one another – so one of the questions here is also what sort of support might we need from each other or might we offer to one another in the current context?