11th December 2010 - 13th February 2011
Nakedness, depression and isolation are just a few of the words I initially
scribbled down in my notepad after watching Dorothy Cross’ work.
The video features an almost lifeless women submersed in sunlit water,
floating around with a multitude of jellyfish. At one point, I half expected
police frogmen to swim into the scene and recover the naked pale body.
Bill Viola’s ‘Becoming Light‘ is a gloriously defined
piece featuring a naked couple treading water in a deep blue surround.
Whereas Cross’ work appears to deal more with the experience of
the self, Becoming Light is far more suggestive of the uncertainly we
experience with intimacy. In any case, being under water certainly poses
obvious communication problems.
The other exhibitions include bizarre and disturbing drawings from Ed
Pien. According to the program, these are battling ‘sea creatures’,
though to me they looked more like disfigured humans engaging in lewd
acts. There are also a small collection of Seunghyun Woo’s coral
like sculptures, which possess the quality of melted multicoloured candle
Towards the back of the exhibition I entered a room full of hanging metal
sculptures emitting weird sounds. At first I though it was pitched up
duck chatter but are in fact ‘the strange chirruping of fish’
(according to the official leaflet). In any case, it makes the street
view of festive shoppers through the windows seem extremely sinister.
The moving imagery is perhaps the highlight of the exhibition. They create
a calming, troubling and explicitly vague feeling, of which I can only
describe as those introspective moments in a bathtub. They all share subtle
compositions, without any immediate meaning or context, inciting curiosity
and reflection. More than its total sum of parts, Underwater is well worth