Exhibition: Joan Jonas – Moving Off the Land II at Ocean Space in Venice

Joan Jonas, Moving Off the Land, 2016/2018, Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San Francisco, 2019. Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture/Justine Elephant.


Two new TBA21–Academy commissioned exhibitions will be opening to the public in March: Joan Jonas’ ‘Moving Off the Land II at Ocean Space’ and ‘The Current II: Deep Sea Minding: A Desert In Pink’, in Venice and California respectively. Established in 2011 by Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza, TBA21–Academy is a platform that leads interdisciplinary practitioners into commissioned research projects that explore maritime life and oceans through art and science. The ultimate aim is to develop innovative solutions to tackle current threats to aquatic ecosystems.

Joan Jonas – Moving Off the Land II at Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Venice) is opening 24 March- 29 September in the European city of Venice, the exhibit will be Open Space’s inaugural project. Curated by Stefanie Hessler, ‘Moving Off the Land II’ puts an end to three years of arduous research by occupying the 500 meters that once constituted the square of the Venetian ‘San Lorenzo’ church. The immersive project will set off with a live performance on the 7th of the same month, coinciding with the 58th 58th Venice Biennale opening, which Jonas presented two years prior to this installation.

Through her work, Joan Jonas has questioned complex relations of current key relevance such as that of humanity and the environment. ‘Moving Off the Land II’ in particular explores the ocean as a “totemic, spiritual, and ecological touchstone”.  Prior to this project, the artist was already familiarised with the topic: She had not only produced her own pieces of footage in different aquariums all over the world but held dialogues on sustainability with field experts such as biologist David Gruber. Her style often merges prose pieces from writers like Emily Dickinson with texts by Sy Montgomery, recordings of her own voice and moving images from aquatic ecosystems footages.

The Current II: Deep Sea Minding: A Desert In Pink is hosted in Palm Spring, California and open its doors on the 9th and 10th of March. ‘Deep Sea Minding’ is a Superflex initiative that throughout interdisciplinary design practices, explore the concepts of globalisation and intersectionality– led project birthed under a three-year fellowship with TBA21–Academy. This interdisciplinary project engages scientists, artists and field experts on marine life to produce work under the umbrella of the main threat: Sealife inhabiting our current living spaces could become tangible, as we see seawater levels rise. As the responsible party for such environmental deterioration, we must take responsibility on fully preparing to adapt to the future lifestyles that might arise. This project’s research is aimed to explore solutions for sub-aquatic living. ‘Deep sea Minding’ reveals a ‘pink future’, as humans prepare to attract coral polyps, or what should be known as the flourishing ecosystems facilitators of our near future. The full programme will be announced soon.


Text by CLOT Magazine (Twitter @clotmagazine)



Website www.tba21.org/
(Photos courtesy of TBA21-Academy)

17 Mar 2019