Submission
Nicola Baratto & Yiannis Mouravas

Under any sea lies a desert

Nicola Baratto & Yiannis Mouravas curated by Haris Giannouras


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The Diver

Water doesn’t make us whole. We were never really broken.

Coming back from the swift moving dream, in which he had been wrapped, he found himself awake lying in the bottom of what seemed to be a deep never-ending cave. Opening his eyes didn’t really make much of a difference. The darkness spewed all over, mounting everything up until the furthest point the eye can see. A tiny opening, a narrow slit cutting through the rocks was the only visible point of orientation. An indicator for where was upwards and where was downwards.
Squatting on all fours, dangling around, dragging his feeble body across the dirt that covered the floor, he startled. She was still asleep taking one deep breath in at a time, before allowing her mouth to release the pressure of a miscalculated first introduction and exhale by putting her lips together and by forcing the wind out of her body. Filling the void of her cave, making a loud screeching sound, one that both amazed and stroke fear in the hearts of untamed men. The scenery was a dark and powerful wetland. Diving deep under the surface of the known there is always an unsolicited factor waiting to come alive. With waves breaking on the shore there is a certain amount of truth that comes from within, or histories about pasts that have long been proclaimed untouchable and future relics from the zone of Orion.
The head was tilted sideways; her eyes piercing and glistening even as they remained hidden underneath her eyelids, while her hair was spread all over. Scaled, broken, rough, he could already picture how it must have felt to run his hand through this forest of snakes and bubbles. What a stupid boy. Nymphs of the flowing waters are dangerous creatures he thought to himself, because the man he was, dictated the way he dealt with the Others.
What is this image I’m looking at? He thought to himself. It is the morning sky or a mirror that stopped working?
She was painted, she was created, someone might have made her long time ago and put her there to scare passersby and smile while dreams crossed her mind. Gorgons are otherworldly creatures that, according to various mythologies, are equipped with the power of their God-given curse.
She turned around and simply decided to ignore this tinny funny intruder, who on that day ventured into the unknown of her rightfully owned cave, the place she was basically forced to call home in her attempt to get away from the crashed dreams that is life above. Gorgon simply kept her powerful eyelids shut and kept on dreaming, making sure none of her dreamlands would spill out of her head and make their way to the menacing hands of the intruder. Even if he wasn’t there to take them away. Even if his sole imperative throughout his mission that lead him on that dark cave was something completely different. Even if that reason would change the course of history forever. The diver never stood a chance.

The Occulus Rifter

Stretched open, cracking, she trembles under his eye. Her skin is scaled, her fins tired from her long travels, her tail large enough to break apart an entire airplane. She breathes in, exhales out. Her body swings back and forth, dancing between the waves. Exhausted from the migrating movements her foremothers blessed her with, she has to take a brave leap of faith towards the surface and then run back again towards the darkened abyss. She holds her breath and swallows her pride. Playing a game of push and pull through the big blues she will continue her choreography until her days come to an end. But for now, she will just continue sifting through and against the tender cheeks of water formations, allowing for new codes and structures of order to form. But sometimes nostalgia takes over.
The whales used to be fierce warriors of the skies. Armed with weapons from Venus herself they could race across the universe and defeat almost any kind of enemy. They would just appear out of nowhere and swiftly yet precisely conquer their foes. Yet this one appeared defeated, broken, tender; tethered to
the pride of her past lives she remained out there swimming across the ocean, whilst attempting to stay alive.
There was a time she accidently got stuck inside a cave. In a sad attempt of feeding herself she lost track of her route and ended up inside a peculiar rocky underwater area. One small rift looked as her only chance of salvation. A sleek crack between the surfaces would perhaps make it possible to break free. Because perhaps she could be able to free herself from the unworthiness of her daily activities, the hollowed-out truth of her sad ritualistic recollections.

The Dreamer

At the bottom of any sea, there lies a desert. One that’s supposed to be walked on, trembled on. The politics surrounding bodies of water trace the outlines of a violent mapping. Following the jug’s form and function (in its’ conventional conception as an object, as well as in its’ state of thingness) the sea becomes a vast wetland, an ecology, that both fills the void and is at the same time filled by all. Yet the ghosts of the desert still remain, regardless of what state of matter they might be in, their pervasiveness strikes as a horrifying machine. The languages of archeology have long been used as a vehicle towards nationalism of many sorts, cracking myths and legends open, slapping Benjamin’s bloody angel right across the face, they bring tears to his troubled eyes. “The Face Of The Angel Of History Is Turned Toward The Poet (sic)” the last dreamer thought to himself; And it was all for noting, because it is all going to remain lost forever. Like tears in the ocean. He forced his eyes open and rushed to the seashore.

The Vessel

Exploring the ‘Thingness’ of things on the case of the jug Heidegger begins with the following description: ‘something of the kind that holds something else within it. The jug’s holding is done by its base and sides. This container itself can again be held by the handle. As a vessel the jug is something self-sustained, something that stands on its own…’1 What happens if the jug is dropped into the ocean? How does its unattainable and unapproachable nature change to adapt into the vastness of the water filling it in? How is the act of holding by its base and sides changed, and the jug transposed from “the past of a thing” to “a thing of the past”? How does the holding both from the sides and the inside take place now that the transcendence of water washes away its carnal sins?
A relic. A timekeeper.
Description (i.e. the act and intention of describing something): The base has a round, circular shape with a diameter of around 30 cm. It supports a long neck that moves from the bottom upwards and ends to a cup-form that opens and creates a hollow part composed by thinly made walls that slightly tilt towards the insides. Both of these side parts (i.e. side in relation to a fixed standardized point of view) are framed by elongated round shaped holders that bear resemblance to a human ear, or eye.
A fish broken down in two parts, split in the middle, cut in two halves; a male head turned upside down. If the vessel forms and shapes that past, history is bound to follow.