Tori Wrånes: BIG WATER
CURATED BY Therese Kellner
ON VIEW Sep 24, 2022 – Feb 12, 2023
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Life in the oceans has existed for 3.7 billion years, three times as long as on land. Largely unexplored, the oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface. Tori Wrånes’s new work for Accelerator, BIG WATER, departs from different places in the world’s oceans: above the surface on the coast of Thailand and under the surface in Norway’s Arctic waters. The two sites are interlaced in a large-scale video and music work.
Tori Wrånes, "BIG WATER", 2022, installation view Accelerator 2022. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.
About the exhibition
In BIG WATER, the visitor is immersed in marine worlds where fur-clad creatures move to the rhythm of the ocean. When the moon and the earth circle each other the moon pulls the earth’s water towards it. During the time of year when the tide is most dynamic, life in the creatures’ cave changes dramatically. They gather to pay homage to the movements of the celestial bodies and play flutes to the rhythm of the ocean’s oscillation between high and low tide.
At Accelerator, BIG WATER is presented as a six-channel video installation, installed in a panoramic format that surrounds the viewer. Rotating in the centre is a large sculpture of multiple levels that function as stands and mirrors the motives of the film. Visitors, sound and image are in circular, constant movement, like time.
In BIG WATER, the temporal transformations are intensified. The title is a translation of the Thai expression naam yai, which refers to the time of year when the sea level oscillates most intensely between ebb and flow. To the artist, the great movement and constant changes represent a plurality to embrace. The creatures follow the movement of the water, the climate of the seasons and the effects of natural forces. They move betweeen arctic and tropical seas, above and under the surface. The two global extremes figure as a reminder of the fantastic range of habitats and life forms that exist beyond the norms and conventions of human civilisation.
According to the artist, BIG WATER’s creatures were born of the tears of the mountain. They have sought out parts of the world where they live away from contemporary humans’ consumption of nature and of each other. They are free from charter tourism, gender roles and body obsession. Wrånes opens a window to a parallel world where the relationship to the body is liberated from ingrained movement patterns.
Throughout her artistic career and as part of a performative ontological investigation, Wrånes has created various types of corporeality to assume. Swimming in fur in tropical water, rolling instead of walking, changing one’s sense of sight and smell or group improvising with self-built instruments are different ways of approaching the world with perceptiveness, humour and intuition. They also provide an opportunity to investigate the world beyond the categories through which we code and read bodies.