Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas, 2023

Photo: ©gerdastudio
Photo: ©gerdastudio
Photo: ©gerdastudio

Performance and Installation "¡Ay, mi pescadito!" with 40 instrument sculptures, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, brass; "Sali e Tabacchi", two seagull costumes, mixed media; "Luna", sculpture, pigmented polymer plaster, metal
Overall dimensions variable
Co-commissioned by TBA21–Academy and Audemars Piguet Contemporary
TBA21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection
"Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas" is an immersive installation conceived for the exhibition "Thus waves come in pairs," curated by Barbara Casavecchia at Ocean Space in Venice. This evolving ecosystem features more than 40 large-scale sculptures depicting hybrid creatures that exist in aquatic, terrestrial, and aerial realms. These sculptures are arranged beneath an egg-shaped moon, seamlessly blending with the walls of the former church where the exhibition takes place.
The inspiration behind "Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas" stems from a popular Spanish song titled "Ay mi pescadito" (Oh, my little fish). The song portrays young fish attending school at the depths of the sea to learn about survival and belonging. In this installation, the artists explore the concepts of cohesion, resistance, and disharmony within various species and between living organisms and objects. The sculptures, which vary in scale and shape, do not adhere to the realism of our world. Instead, they embody an evolutionary state, possessing a blend of features suitable for survival underwater, on land, and in the sky. The sculptures' metallic skins reflect sunlight onto the church's walls, ceilings, and floors, altering the perception of the space throughout the day. Additionally, each sculpture doubles as a musical instrument, producing sounds through music boxes and DIY techniques. However, it is only through human interaction that they come to life with sound. Together, they attempt to create a "melody" inspired by the song "Ay mi pescadito" and the underwater noises, although achieving perfect harmony proves challenging, mirroring the complexity of achieving synchrony in the material world.
Hovering above the creatures is a large egg-shaped sculpture suspended from the ceiling. Its appearance gives the illusion of floating within the space. Covered in a chalky material resembling the building's walls, the egg symbolizes the cyclical nature of our world, where everything can be reused and transformed. It evokes possibilities for alternative future forms of life, transformation, and parenthood, challenging the notion of fixed or stable "natural" identities that contribute to systemic discrimination of queer individuals and families within human societies.
"Lunar Ensemble for Uprising Seas" is intended to be activated during its exhibition by a cast of musicians, performers, and the artists themselves. Their presence and engagement breathe life into the installation, enhancing the immersive experience for visitors.