PRESENTATION MEERSCHMERZ - MOŻE WSPÓŁDZIELNE @ HALLE 14
»Meerschmerz« is a condition of the sea-weariness, an experience of anxiety and dissatisfaction with the surrounding physical reality (from German: Meer – »sea« , Schmerz – »pain« ). This term, coined as a direct reference to the German Romanticism and the urge for integration of spiritual and material aspects of the humans’ experience of the world, describes the psychoemotional condition of a group of dolphins living in the Mediterranean, who became the actors of Beata Rojek’s work.
The sea-pain of the superintelligent creatures is caused by the various human-drawn divisions, which have profound implications for the ecosystem they mutually live in. Language and culture—and the barriers brought by their structures—were found by the dolphins to be the main source of the humans’ miscommunication, leading to various conflicts within the basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Once, they have already tried to warn the humans but they have failed to understand the message and this animals have left the Earth, as described by Douglas Adams in his sci-fi novel »So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish« (1984). This time they have decided to overcome this issue with a different approach.
The multimedia installation is the result of a collaborative effort of Beata Rojek and a group of her friends, forming together the Gang of Dolphins to establish a non-verbal, egalitarian polylogue (as a dialog of many). It derives from an utopian concept of an island, that would be a floating ‘biennale’ of art—a neutral space for creative exchange, moving from one shore to another and performing as a bridge over all humans’ divisions: geographical (3 continents), political (currently 23 countries), linguistic, cultural, religious and others. In opposition to a hierarchy, it was meant by the dolphins to be a holarchy—an evolving, self-organizing and open system, where every element is, at the same time, a part and a whole, enabling horizontal communication and free fluctuation of forms. Pieces of music, poems, drawings and animation create an inviting environment for the visitors of different origins. The project draws from the vast Mediterranean culture and history, revealing the aim to escape from both euro- and anthropocentric perspectives and seeking for their substitution with a new holistic narrative.
The project has been invited to Leipzig as collaborative project of the contemporary art centre HALLE 14 and the A-i-R Wro residency programme of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, and it has the ambition to serve as an epilogue and a critical comment to the exhibition »Terra Mediterranea: In Action – About a liquid continent« (September 7 – November 20,2016).