The Otolith Group
The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
1 November, 2014 to 11 January, 2015
The exhibition title, Novaya Zemlya, Russian for ‘New Earth’ or ‘New Land’, refers to the archipelago of remote, irradiated islands located North of the Arctic Circle that were used by the Soviet Union as a test site for nuclear devices during the Global Cold War.
The trilogy of films presented in this exhibition is centred on the politics and aesthetics of water, revealing the hydropolitics and hydropoetics of natural resources. Hydra Decapita (2010) enters a fictional world populated by the underwater descendants of drowned African slaves, in order to investigate the historical links between capital, technology and abstraction. The Radiant (2012) surveys the aftermath of 11 March 2011, when the Tohoku earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed thousands and caused the partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on the east coast of Japan. I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another (2012) captures the reading of a poem about the sea by artist and writer Etel Adnan, depicting the texture of language that enacts the movement of the ocean.