Discovering a metaphor for water

Discovering a metaphor for water

Discovering a metaphor for water

An exhibition at Istanbul’s Pilot Gallery, titled “What Water Knows,” gathers 16 artists around an idea of fluidity and adaptability of water, discovering their own version of interpreting water and the effect of its existence in the modern life.

The exhibition also points at the current uncertainty and crisis through the reality and the metaphor based on “water,” its fluidity, adaptability, and formlessness, while arguing that water is a boundary line, a threshold for some, and a dreamland that can never be reached for others.

As the reason for the most significant migration since the World War II, water, from the Japan of the 1830s to the Istanbul of 2019, sits in the artists’ focus for an extended period.

The idea of doing an exhibition about water stemmed from a meditation done on Hito Steyerl’s “Liquidity Inc.” Taking water as a powerful metaphor to understand and narrate today, it operates as a hypertext where finance and politics are used figuratively, and martial arts and waves are present literally. Fluidity and adaptability are musts to be the last one standing in a fast-paced world. Water embodies adaptability and survivability against hardships and transformation.

Tsunamis, the destructive power of the giant waves, set the agenda mandatorily when the cities are expected to submerge under the water, and climate change is considered. It’s not the news; since the 80s, the visions, and discussions of water wars and people who are forced to immigrate due to water(lessness), have taken place in popular culture and the academy.

From Africa to the Middle East, vast geography is affected by the water shortage because of over usage and inadequate policies. What’s more, the countries situated in the northern part of the hemisphere are expected to sink underwater in the meantime. Water, both as a threat and as a value at risk, rightfully occupies the agenda.

“What Water Knows” can be visited until Feb. 26.

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