Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet  – The Waterway

21 September 2017 – 15 October 2017

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaduengo

Curated by
Ludovica Carbotta & Valerio Del Baglivo

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo presents The Institute of Things to Come, a temporary research centre on futurological scenarios proposing a series of four solo exhibitions and an educational program, from February to September 2017. The Institute of Things to Come is supported by the grant ORA! from Compagnia di San Paolo.

For the last chapter of The Institute, duo Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet reveal important discoveries about the ocean water. After a long research on aquatic wildlife the artists present The Waterway a film unfolding its story at the crossroads of history and science fiction. Exploring aquatic fantasies, fictional marine creatures and the future of human eternity underwater, The Waterway is built around three narratives, aiming at uncovering and documenting the imagination of the water as objects and bodies’ conservation source. The setting is a sea resort on the Atlantic coast in France where three different groups of subaquatic archaeologists, scientists and the customers of the spa are discussing and experimenting the effects of water to preserve lives. The film proceeds on ellipses and dichotomies where its own characters, in the manner of symbolic figures from ancient mythology (such as nymphs, Cyclops or sirens…), justify the tracks taken from the theoretical and iconographic collection of the authors as well as the assumed fantasy established within the synopsis of the film. Louise and Chloe’s film addresses issues of anthropocentrism and post-humanity by implicitly raising the question: does the future of humanity lie underwater?
By using texts, performances and films, Hervé&Maillet promote long-term research-based projects, often focused on historical reconstruction, pseudoscientific archaeology and science fiction. Moving between speculation around mythologies, proposed solutions to the impasses of science, and surveys around a field of study, their films result being more as stages of exploration than practical studies for plausible answers. Without proposing any final conclusion, The Waterway questions one of the most strong apprehension of human beings: what will be the price to pay in the future, for humanity eternity?

Along with the exhibition, the artists will conduct a workshop that takes its title from a 1965 Jacques Tourneur film, which quoted Edgar Allan Poe’s famous Poem The City in the Sea. The workshop explores underwater archaeology and the imaginary of eternal subaquatic life in relation to the conflicting reality between the human and non-human world in the Mediterranean area. During the workshop marine biologist Daniele Tibi will conduct a lesson on the life of marine mammals and the participants will spent a journey on a boat in the Liguria sea while whale watching. Participants are: Andrea Aversa, Rachel Dedman, Carl Ghent, Bettina Hutschek, Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn, Marco Strappato, Lucia Veronesi.