Water Water Every Where
Brooklyn, NY – BRIC Arts | Media | Bklyn presents Water Water Every Where, a group exhibition examining water’s ubiquity – its presence in our everyday life, in geopolitical reality, and in transcendent moments of existence. “The condition of the New Yorker is to be surrounded by water and yet to be little aware of it,” says the exhibition’s curator and Director of Contemporary Art at BRIC, Elizabeth Ferrer. “We are largely island dwellers, residing in a city whose geography features rivers, creeks, channels, estuaries, tidal straits, a grand harbor, and the Atlantic Ocean. And yet we tend to look inward (and indeed, upwards), when imagining the contours of the city.” Water Water Every Where opens with a reception Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at BRIC Rotunda Gallery and will be on view through Saturday, April 30, 2011.
Water Water Every Where includes the work of seven artists, six based in New York, and one in Mexico City – Marie Lorenz, Mary Mattingly, Anne Percoco, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Joni Sternbach, Aleksei Stevens, and Kurt Hollander. Their work encompasses photography, video, installation, sculpture, work on paper, and sound projects, varied means that examine water’s inextricable presence in our lives.
Works in the exhibition include Aqua 2000, a new, large-scale sculpture by Mary Mattingly recreating a water kiosk in Yuma, Arizona, a city with one of the hottest climates in the United States, and where such high-profit vending stations are proliferating. The exhibition will also feature Aleksei Steven’s 2010 Standing Water: Sound Map of the Gowanus Canal. This revelatory, 18-minute work in 6 movements is based on sounds he gathered using a hydrophone, an underwater microphone, in different parts of one of the city’s most infamously polluted waterways. It will be presented within the exhibition as an intimate environment, accompanied by Stevens’ small-scale photos of the murky canal waters. The photographer Joni Sternbach will contribute work from two series to the exhibition. They include a video and large-scale photograph capturing the movements of surfers on Long Island’s East End, as well as smaller-scale palladium prints from her Sea/Sky series, landscapes that study the effects of light on water, and that transform primal natural elements into poetic abstractions.
Water Water Every Where will also contain a historic component, a selection of early 20th-century photographs, part of a hand-bound, multi-volume series of scrapbooks documenting the construction of the Catskill water supply system to New York. These photographs illuminate another crucial aspect of the role of water in the lives of New Yorkers: the massive, century-old engineering system that makes survival possible in our vast metropolis, yet that is little heeded by the city’s eight million citizens. These photographs are lent by private collection.
Through varied means, the artists in this exhibition examine a diverse range of topics and issues, local and global. They include water as commodity and need; sport and risk; hygiene and the realm of the personal; water as artistic inspiration; spirituality, myth, and ritual; the U.S. military; and acts of piracy in international waters. And although the focus of this curatorial project is not emphatically environmental or political, these themes flow persistently through the work in this exhibition. Water affects everybody’s life everyday, whether in its absence or excess, visibility or invisibility.
Contact: Samantha Vernon