exhibited in Empirical Reality at NGallery, Athens
programmed by Nicoleta Chatzopoulou
In conjunction with Ngallery (Athens), LA-based artist Ryat Yezbick, Athens-based vocalist Anna Pangalou and climate educator Georgina Spyres collaborated on a series of documented performances engaging water as both a vital life source and potential contaminant. The collaborators experimented with various forms of speaking through water as an absurdist gesture and phenomenological attempt to discover emotional resonance with words when expressed through liquid. Using text from books as well as written responses regarding their fears around the global pandemic, the collaborators explored figurative and literal experiences of spillage. The title of the 5-channel installation, Spillover, references the transfer of pathogens from animal to humans while playfully engaging growing anxieties around global pandemics. In the installation, the collaborators - along with an additional 25 participants - can be seen shooting water from their mouths in their attempts to speak as they respond to the following prompt: "What overwhelming emotion have you been experience since the onset of the pandemic? Do you see your outlook changing in the coming months?"
The exhibition examines parallels between our relationship to interiority, both emotional and physical, and the natural world - such as the biophysics of breath or swallowing, the ebb and flow of oceanic tides, or the phenomenon of sinkholes - in an attempts to explore our collective emotional state as we process our fears around greater collective contamination. Juxtaposing the reality of the climate crisis against the incomprehensible and absurd gesture of speaking through water, the audience is invited to sit in the interval between truth, clarity and incoherence.
*Image and documentary video by Panayiotis Tsangas