Tidalectics Reading #2
Hope at Sea
July 27, 2017
TBA21–Augarten, Vienna

Detail from Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty thousand leagues under the seas), by Jules Verne, illustrated by Édouard Riou and Alphonse de Neuville, Paris, 1871

Hope at Sea – Reading with actress Alina Ilonka Hagenschulte, Max Reinhardt Seminar. Discussing configurations of hope set in the maritime space.

Texts by Teresa Shewry, Herman Melville and Jules Verne

„Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and make him the brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all." – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

In her 2015 book Hope at Sea, literature critic and scholar Teresa Shewry analyses how writers from Oceania and the Pacific mobilize notions of hope while facing disasterous realities of colonization, ecological destruction and crisis. Following this perspective, Tidalectics Reading #2 Hope at Sea engages two of modern nautical fiction most iconic texts: Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Jules Vernes 20.000 miles under the sea. Exploring the historical contexts of their origin, as well as their impact on our imaginary, the reading follows the tropes, the perspectives on human development and the specific constellations of present and future which constitute hope. In many cases, these notions may not be based in individuals and their actions, but natural rhythms and forces transgressing human agency - suggesting a different understanding of the doing (or undoing) of our future.

This event forms the second iteration in a series of readings hosted by TBA21–Augarten in relation to the exhibition Tidalectics, currently on view until November 19, 2017. Tidalectics proposes a renegotiation of our manifold relations with the oceans, be they real and/or imaginary, by developing a perspective from within that can be experienced through the artworks working with metaphor, rhythm, narration, and regarding the texts through historic contingencies.

The reading will be held in German.
TBA21–Augarten, KIOSK
Scherzergasse 1a, 1020 Vienna