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Darren Almond

Tidalectics (group show)
TBA21 - Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Academy, Vienna
2 June - 19 November 2017

Darren Almond, A, 2002 (video still) Courtesy of Jay Jopling | White Cube. © Darren Almond
Darren Almond, A, 2002 (video still) Courtesy of Jay Jopling | White Cube. © Darren Almond

...like the movement of the ocean she’s walking on, coming from one continent/continuum, touching another, and then receding (‘reading’) from the island(s) into the perhaps creative chaos of the(ir) future... – Kamau Brathwaite

Tidalectics is an oceanic worldview, a different way of engaging with the oceans and the world we inhabit. Unbound by land-based modes of thinking and living, the exhibition is reflective of the rhythmic fluidity of water and the incessant swelling and receding of the tides.

TBA21–Academy’s first exhibition, Tidalectics, presents thirteen standout artists whose distinctive works cast oceanic perspectives on the cultural, political, and biological dimensions of the oceans, some examining the effects of human-made issues such as climate change and sea-level rise, and others reimagining human and “more-than-human” relationships. Tidalectics will comprise nine newly commissioned works, many flowing from the Academy’s expeditions in the Pacific Ocean, alongside exceptional pieces from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) collection.

Taking its title from a play on words by the celebrated Barbadian poet-historian Kamau Braithwaite, Tidalectics seeks to comprehend our histories as trajectories tossed by waves, from ocean crossings to systems of exchange, myths, and microbial origins. The exhibition will highlight processes of cultural adaptation and material change, presenting a rich framework for understanding the coalescing polarities of contemporaneity and history, science and poetics, routes and roots, and ourselves—mostly land-dwelling humans—with the oceans and their many and diverse inhabitants.

Darren Almond’s video A (2002) from the TBA21 collection presents an Antarctic world of infinite whites devoid of human presence, accompanied by a sound track that alternates between dreamy serenity and blood-thumping menace.

TBA21, Vienna


Additional:

Darren Almond

Art Capital: Art for the Elizabeth line (group show)
Whitechapel Gallery, London
13 March - 6 May 2018

Spectacular new public art commissions by British and international artists will be unveiled across London from December 2018. The Crossrail Art Programme is working with artists to create public art in and around the new central London Elizabeth line stations. This unprecedented project will significantly enrich the presence of contemporary art in the capital’s public realm.

In the first overview of the Crossrail artworks, material such as maquettes, sketches and prototypes are displayed in the gallery’s project and archive spaces. The exhibition reveals the artists’ ideas and the complex process for turning artistic proposals into deliverable public art.

Whitechapel Gallery, London


Darren Almond

Oceans: A Worldview at the Rhythm of the Waves (group show)
Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing
9 February - 22 April 2018

Le Fresnoy and TBA21–Academy are delighted to present the exhibition Océans. Une vision du monde au rythme des vagues. Océans includes artists whose distinctive works cast oceanic perspectives on the cultural, political, and biological dimensions of the planet’s hydrosphere, examining the effects of human-made issues, such as climate change and sea-level rise, while reimagining human and “more-than- human” relationships. The exhibition features newly commissioned works, many flowing from the Academy’s expeditions in the Pacific Ocean, alongside exceptional pieces from the TBA21 collection, and works by artists whose practice is deeply anchored in the oceanic space, among them two former students of Le Fresnoy.

Tidalectics emerges from the TBA21–Academy, a site of cultural production without a fixed locale. Moving aboard the Dardanella research vessel, the Academy is temporarily inhabited by artists, scientists, and other thinkers and practitioners. Since its inception, its program is dedicated to fostering engaged ways of caring for the oceans. If our thoughts and actions as mostly land-dwelling humans fail to grasp these vast bodies of water that cover two thirds of our planet, let alone take care of them, perhaps it is time to consider other, oceanic, ways of being. Océans sets out to do exactly that.

The exhibition cites a neologism by the celebrated Barbadian poet-historian Kamau Braithwaite. His Tidalectics formulates an oceanic worldview, a different way of engaging with the oceans and the world we inhabit. Dissolving purportedly terrestrial modes of thinking and living, it attempts to merge steady land with the rhythmic fluidity of water and the incessant swelling and receding of the tides. It is crafted on “riddims” that are deeply rooted in (post-)colonial anger and hope. Just like navigators who land at a new shore, bringing with them their constantly shifting stories, the concept of Tidalectics can migrate from its original context in Brathwaite’s writing to other geographies and realms: As temperatures increase and the ice at the poles melts faster and streams into the oceans, sea levels will continue to rise all around the world, affecting land across latitudes and spanning apparently disconnected locales.

Océans seeks to comprehend our histories as trajectories tossed by waves, from ocean crossings to systems of exchange, myths, and microbial origins. It highlights processes of cultural adaptation and material change, presenting a rich framework for understanding the coalescing polarities of contemporaneity and history, science and poetics, routes and roots, and ourselves—mostly land-dwelling humans—with the oceans and their many and diverse inhabitants.

Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing