Cliona Harmey, Interior of Poolbeg lighthouse, Dublin, 2017
A TETI Group exhibition in two parts for Corner College
Curated by Gabriel Gee & Anne-Laure Franchette
Saturday, 5 – Saturday, 26 May 2018 (Part 1: The eyes of the lighthouse)
Opening Hours: Wed/Thu/Fri 16:00h-19:00h & Sat 14:00h-19:00h
With works and interventions by Cliona Harmey, Monica Ursina Jäger, Salvatore Vitale, & VOLUMES library
Opening: Saturday 5 May 18:00h
Discussion Friday 11 May, 18h30: Seen Unseen, Salvatore Vitale in conversation with Nadine Wietlisbach
Research encounter 25-27 May: Maritime Poetics: from Coast to Hinterland, limited seats, booking necessary, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finissage: Saturday 26 May 18:00h artists talk Light and land with Cliona Harmey & Monica Ursina Jäger
At the turn of the 1960s-70s, a drastic shift in the representations of nature paralleled an urban revolution that signalled an intensification of global networks. The increasing interpenetration of the natural and the human realms, as well as the increasing realisation of such an interpenetration, has been a characteristic of the rise of a ‘planetary age’. On continental coasts, where the sea meets the land, ports manage the transfer of goods and the balance of offer and demand with heightened efficiency. Such maritime commerce stands as the historical engineering of our global world, accelerated by the adoption of standardised containers in the 1960s. Ships ride anonymously over the sea, the lifting sea, their bellies filled with plastic wrapped merchandise. We appear to see more afar than we used to, through digital devices and virtual fluxes, while crowds fly to distant lands that air technology has made suddenly accessible. And yet, much remains unseen in the eyes of the lighthouse, which blips to bring the sailors safely home – and their goods for the improvement of lighthouse technology in the 19th century was directly connected to mercantile interests – thereby necessarily offering dark passages and suggesting the persistence of blind spots below our promethean visions. Through the lighthouse, we can explore and question the modes of representation of our socio-natures: what is it that we see, that we can see, that we are willing to see and not able or unwilling to look at, in a contemporary age where silvery and golden profusions might well lead to blackened collapses.
If the eyes of the lighthouse can guide us towards an enquiry into our perceptions of 21st century planetary conditions, they might then also shed light on the obscurity which surrounds the circulation of earthly materials, that fuel the light of our cities and the heat of our ever more complex technologies. It is to the blood of the land that we turn the spotlight, to gaze beneath the metal of the discreet gas and oil pipelines, to the construction of roads and canals, the baskets of railways and trucks roaming planes and mountains. We foresee the advanced state of Narcissus, peering no longer to himself in the pool of water, but inward in the woods behind him. And just like the industrial city of Tony Garnier used anthropomorphic features to organise its exemplary functioning, we look at the metabolism of the hinterland to query its desires and its health. For blood’s a rover, to use James Ellroy’s words, and beside the vitality of hybrid wild cities, loom darks shadows whose intentions or rather, projections, must be deciphered to read the oracles of the present …
Text: Gabriel Gee www.tetigroup.org
Cliona Harmey, Poolbeg lighthouse, Dublin, 2017
Cliona Harmey’s response to “Hinterland” takes the form of a series of works which reflect on the transmission and absorption of light which lies at the heart of many communication technologies. Starting with a view from the interior of a lighthouse's red lantern the works look at modern systems of visibility, encoding, simulation and information. The show combines images of technological systems, a simulation deck which can emulate any port in the world, the interior of a barcode scanner, a view from the lighthouse. The works allude to the ways in which many global communication technologies used in logistics, cybernetics and infrastructure were influenced by developments in maritime environments.
The invention of the original concept for the now ubiquitous barcode was inspired by engineer Norman Woodland's experience with morse code. We could also think of lighthouses as original nodes in a developing network of a developing global communication and trading system. The individual elements in this exhibition reference the transmission and absorption of light at the heart of many contemporary communication technologies. lanterns, scanners, the ubiquitous barcode, whilst also considering some of the spaces which fall out of the range of this visibility.
Monica Ursina Jäger
Monica Ursina Jäger, Liquid Territory, 2018
Monica Ursina Jäger, Liquid Territory, 2018
As part of Hinterland, Monica Ursina Jäger presents a range of materials collected and produced through her investigation of the hinterlands of Singapore, looking in particular at sand trade, cut and fill strategies and reclamation practices. Her research explores the shifting grounds of port cities, the visible and invisible forms of global trade, and reflects on an inversion of the hinterland, whereby the inner land is projected outwards onto the sea.
This work has been conceived as part of an artists residency at NTU CCA Centre for Contemporary Arts, Singapore.
Salvatore Vitale takes us into the heart of the Hinterland, in the Swiss Alps, searching for an ever elusive yet resolute presence: the wolf. The re-emergence of the wolf in Europe has been the object of conflicted debates, and carries strong issues pertaining to the place of non-human species in our mixed-communities and environments. Through photographs, film and sound, Vitale illuminates the shadows of the hinterland, and the changing representation of wilderness and its perceived values at the turn of the 21st century.
The exhibition is supported by the Temperatio Stiftung
The research encounter is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and Franklin University, CH.