Liquid Abyss, 2018 installation view. One channel video projection, suspended nett fabric. Photo credit: Steven Morton
“What Beebe saw on that trip—and reported with such vividness—was a glowing world of creatures so astonishing that for decades many doubted his veracity. The clear sea stretched endlessly, and was so full of luminescence that it sparkled like the night sky. … great shadows and shifting patches of light hovered just out of view, leading him to postulate the existence of giants in the Bermudan depths. And below the bathysphere? There, said Beebe, lay a world that “looked like the black pit-mouth of hell itself.” 1
1 Tim Flannery, “Where Wonders Await Us”, The New York Review of Books, December 2007, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2007/12/20/where-wonders-await-us/
Deep sea dystopia or luminous wonderland? The deeper into the unknown, the more alien and bizarre – like dreams of a fleeting elsewhere. Liquid Abyss is an exploration of imagining oceanic life-forms of the Hadal zone. The ethereal and comical coalesce with the terrifying unknown and banal reality; a perpetual rain of detritus, human and otherwise.
There is beauty in strange mutations and regeneration of primal life-forms, and horror in the disintegration of a fragile biosphere. The sight of the sea can evoke in our subconscious something of our primal beginning. The ocean depths seem connected in intimate and immediate ways to ourselves and it believed that we evolved from the sea. Yet we are wary intruders– slowly destroying the elements that gave birth to us.
Liquid Abyss, trailer (duration: 00:43). Full video duration: 8:30 mins. Soundtrack by Sigur Ros
Photo credits of installation by Steven Morton