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GERVASUTI FOUNDATION | 55. VENICE ART BIENNALE | May 31 2013
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  • Marcos Lutyens, Fielding States: Depth Projection, 2013, still video

(only English version)

Marcos Lutyens
Fielding States: Depth Projection

55. Venice Art Biennale
unofficial program collateral event of the Maldives Pavilion
Performance:  May 31, 2013, 9:00 am


That an island of such nature and size once existed is evident from what is said by certain authors who investigated the things around the outer sea. 
Proclus’ commentary on Plato’s Timaeus

 

The Gervasuti Foundation, venue of the Maldives Pavilion for the Venice Art Biennial, is pleased to announce Fielding States: Depth Projection, a performance by Marcos Lutyens curated by Camilla Boemio.

Artists and contributors from around the world will be invited to contribute works related to contemporary environmental romanticism. Collectively they will form a portable micro exhibition, with some short events (performances, talks, seminars), positioned inside a transparent colorless space, easy and ready to be moved to another location as a symbol of the Maldivian case.

Depth Projection involves a hypnosis induction which invites guests to enter into a trance state and perceive the world as having become under-water, not just intellectually but rather as an ‘incorporated’ state of mind. The unconscious has often been associated with water and Carl Jung noted that ‘water is the commonest symbol for the unconscious’, so it’s a small step for us to take the watery unconscious mind to meet the impending reality of a world in which water levels are rising, and cities and states that are currently above water, will soon find themselves below.
MalĂ©, the capital of the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, as much as the city of Venice both see themselves confronting an impending sea-change in water levels.  This is a violent reality in terms of the impending challenges that populations in low-lying areas will soon be facing. In the case of the Republic of the Maldives, which is the lowest country in the world, with a maximum natural ground level of only 2.4 meters, the prospect of the nation being underwater by 2080 is very real and the likelihood of the population becoming environmental forced or emergency migrants is extremely high. In November 2008 President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives announced contingency plans to look for land in India, Sri Lanka and Australia for a possible population transfer, to avoid the prospects of the Maldives inhabitants becoming climate refugees living in tents indefinitely.   The consequences of longer term climate change may actually already be embedded in ancestral or even genetic knowledge, as what may be termed as bodyknowledge.  The Maldives, for instance, according to Tamil lore was originally part of a huge landmass called Kumari Kandam, a version of Atlantis in the East.  Tamil nationalists claimed that this lost continent was once called Lemuria, and was the birthplace of all languages.  According to this tradition, the Maldives are now the last remaining vestiges of this huge land mass, and as such are destined to join the rest of the sunken continent.
On this vector of speculative fabulation, perhaps one could adopt a stance of ‘standing one’s ground’ and instead of migrating, accelerate adaptation to rising sea levels by a process of speciation., in which a new human physiology could evolve that can breathe under water as much as in the air. Biologically, cases such as the lung fish that have adapted to breathing underwater as well as in the air demonstrate that this evolutionary adaptation process is indeed possible.

Depth Projection is an experiment to condition the unconscious mind to habituate itself to breathing underwater, perhaps accelerating the physiological potential of the human body to change with rising sea levels.
Although Depth Projection is a speculative and theoretical project, perhaps linked to what the philosopher Vinciane Despret terms the ‘porous self’, a self that is able to change and mutate to differing circumstances, the study of abiotic forces such as climate change on the evolution of species, (rather than biotic forces such as the competition between species) is a much researched field at present. The predominance of abiotic over biotic forces in evolution is called the Court Jester hypothesis, and perhaps it is in this spirit that we are attempting this transformation or migration of the psyche, or at the very least, to culture a predisposed ecology of mind.
As our collective fate is increasingly in the hands of corporate and supranational interests that decline to support much needed reductions in carbon emissions, it is important for us to consider an approach for unilateral adaptation.

Curator
Camilla Boemio

Gervasuti Foundation
Fondamenta Sant’Ana, Via Garibaldi 31, Castello 995, 30122 Venezia
 

For more information please visit:
http://www.mlutyens.com
http://www.arteboccanera.com