Levels of Living Waters
29-06 until 09-07-2023
Levels of Living Waters is a video installation that works with water at its dominant element. It is consisting of three waterfalls constantly flowing through a pumping system, recycling the water that is used at night to work as a screen for the video art projection. This installation is made to be seen from the outside of the glasshouse at Worringer Platz.
During the day the waterfall can be seen, with a video of different aspects and symbolism of water throughout different cultures, on a screen next to it. During the hours after sundown the video can be seen on the water with a projection that reflects on the surface of the water. The video work starts with a baptising scene, where a baby is submerged in water, and continues with different water-related rituals, pagan and religions, like for example when people in Romania try to find a cross in the waters of a frozen lake, that a priest previously throws in, on the 1st of January of every year. This is supposed to bring great luck to the one that finds it for the rest of the year. The video continues with a miniature flood made in an aquarium with different cars and truck models, as well as miniature sculptures of people, trees, streets, street lights etc. Then transforming into footage to real floods and water related catastrophes.
On the floor, as a second level baking trays are placed. They catch the spillage of the water, and inside the trays, sculptures of different body-parts made out of a mix of wax and soap are laid flat. The indirect water the drops on them, makes them change and melt slowly throughout the week long exhibition in he glasshouse.
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The water flows, as things sometimes flow, when they go into flux, hide under the surface and then reappear as if nothing had happened. Different levels of the elixir of life are visible in the PALACE by means of the waterfall, which in nature often forms staircase-like cascades.
Moving images flow on the water at night, one into the other, seemingly without context or connection. Lifeless bodies rest on the shore as if washed up, a newborn is doused with water, a toy tanker has run aground – “Everything is great.” Moments that have nothing in common – except water. It is the connecting element. People have always settled by rivers, by lakes, by the sea, although water can quickly change from a place of longing to a horror scenario. It saves life on thirsty tongue, it takes life in the change of the waves. All being on earth springs from it, children are literally lifted out of the big pond. But nothing helps when currents pull us below the surface, man can no longer push himself off the bottom, loses himself in deepest darkness.
It is always the same masses of water that the pumps lift up in an endless loop and let down again through their openings. Repetition is a characteristic of the works of the Bucharest-born artist. After studying at the University of Lincoln, she went on to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, graduating last year under Dominique Gonzalez- Foerster. Her work is mainly performative, but she also devotes herself to socio-political and spiritual issues in video and photography. In the first residency offered by PALACE, Negoescu conducted artistic research with water, experimenting with its forces. How does water behave when it flows through hands, wraps itself around bodies, changes from flowing to falling?
The viewers are mirrored when they look through the glass front, just as the fall of the veil is reflected in them. After all, we are flowing beings ourselves, if we consist of 70 percent living water.
(“Idea” text: Julia Stellmann)