DEEP DOWN TIDAL
16 January – 18 February 2018
Curated by Luce McIntosh
Deep Down Tidal explores transcoceanic networks examining the political and technological affects of water as a conductive interface for communication. From fibre optic cables to sunken cities, drowned bodies, hidden histories of navigations and sacred signal transmissions, the ocean is home to a complex set of communication networks. As modern information and communication technologies (ICT) become omnipresent in Western lifestyles – rebranded global to further implement Western domination – we urgently need to understand the cultural, political and environmental forces that have shaped them.
Looking at the infrastructure of submarine fibre optic cables that carries and transfers our digital data, it is striking to realize that the cables are layered onto colonial shipping routes. Once again the bottom of the sea becomes the interface of painful yet celebrated advancements masking the violent deeds of modernity.
Deep Down Tidal navigates the ocean as a graveyard for Black knowledge and technologies. From Atlantis, to the ‘Middle passage’, or refuge seekers presently drowning in the Mediterranean, the ocean abyss carries pains, lost histories and memories while simultaneously providing the global infrastructure for our current telecommunications. Could the violence of the Internet - inflicted upon Africa and more generally Black people lie in its physical architecture?
Research suggests that water has the ability to memorize and copy information, disseminating it through its streams. What data is our world’s water holding? Beyond trauma, water keeps myriad of deep secrets, from its debated origin, its mysterious sea life of mermaids, water deities, and serpent gods celebrated in many cosmologies, to the possible evolution of humankind presented by the aquatic ape theory.
Deep Down Tidal enquires the complex cosmological, spiritual, political and technological entangled narratives sprung from water as an interface to understand the legacies of colonialism.
Tabita Rezaire (b.1989, Paris) is a French - of Guyanese and Danish descent - video artist, health-tech-politics practitioner and Kemetic/ Kundalini Yoga teacher based in Johannesburg. She holds a Bachelor in Economics (Paris) and a Master in Artist Moving Image from Central Saint Martins College (London). Rezaire’s practices unearth the possibilities of decolonial healing through the politics of technology. Navigating architectures of power - online and offline - her work tackles the pervasive matrix of coloniality and its affects on identity, technology, sexuality, health and spirituality.
Through screen interfaces, her digital healing activism offers substitute readings to dominant narratives decentering occidental authority, while her energy streams remind us to resist, (re)connect, and remember.
Rezaire is a founding member of the artist group NTU, half of the duo Malaxa, and mother of the energy house SENEB.
In 2017, she presented her first solo show Exotic Trade at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. Artsy declared her among the ‘emerging artists to watch for in 2017’, Artnet among the ‘international Black artists of 2016’, and True Africa amid the ‘top opinion makers of the African continent in 2015’. Rezaire has shown her work internationally – Performa NY, V&A London, National Gallery of Denmark, Berlin Biennale 09, Tate Modern London, Museum of Modern Art Paris, MoCADA NY, The Broad LA and presented her work on numerous panels – Het Nieuwe Institut Rotterdam, Royal Academy The Hague, Kunsthalle Bern, National Gallery Harare, Cairotronica Cairo, Fakugezi Digital Art Africa Johannesburg. She has curated screenings at the Institute of Contemporary Art London, led spiritual technology workshops worldwide and has her writing published by Intellect books.
Rezaire lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Images: Tabita Rezaire, Deep Down Tidal, 2017, detail, still from moving image, 18:44.