1,083,248, 2018

Geocells, wood and metal

240 x 240 x 13.5 cm

"And A Third Of The Waters Became Wormwood"

The traveller may think, what can it possibly matter, that the Mediterranean, an insignificant breach in the earth's crust (1)- but Its boundaries are drawn in neither space nor time. There is in fact no way of drawing them: they are neither ethnic nor historical, state nor national; they are like a chalk circle that is constantly traced and erased, that the winds and waves, that 

obligations and inspirations expand or reduce (2)

 

Two important concepts for the project are "The Longue durée", of the Annales School, and the “nonlinear” in Manuel DeLanda's book, A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, as long-term review on processes and structures of society. The exhibition deals with the Mediterranean sea/ basin’s human migration and nationalism through the eyes of scientific researches in the fields of geology, soil and dust control.  

Soil erosion/ dust aerosols as analogous to human migration and the stabilization of the ground as analogous to nationalistic ideas; As well there are references to geological processes that are related, inter alia, to the formation and long ago to the complete dehydration of the sea.

 

The project is based on the interest in the Mediterranean space as a junction connecting the Mediterranean Basin, as well as the barrier separating battered Africa from wealthy Europe. The project focus on this space in the past, geologically and culturally; in the present, as an escape zone while thinking about an utopian future, considering the Atlantropa project, by Hermann Sörgel.

 

Past

The Messinian Event, 6 million years ago, was a geological event during which the Mediterranean Sea went into a cycle of partly or nearly complete desiccation. The desiccation was proved only in the 70's by the drilling expedition of the Glomar Challenger, by analyzing the layers of soil at the bottom of the sea. The Romans saw the sea as the center of the world and called it MARE NOSTRUM, a term which got a different meaning during 2013 Italian refugees rescue operation in the water and sky of the mediterranean.

 

Future

Sörgel’s Atlantropa project suggested to lower the sea level in order to unite Africa and Europe into one continent by damming the Black Sea and he strait of Gibraltar. The latter would have served as a transportation route, linking Africa and Europe and as hydroelectric energy producer. The project also proposed to shut dam the Congo River and by this to create a large lake to save agriculture and hunger.

According to his plan, lowering the water level would have take 150 years in which 600,000 square kilometers of new land would be exposed and create a larger living space which would save unnecessary wars over territories. At a later stage, the establishment of the State of Israel in Palestine is mentioned in this context by Erich Mendelsohn, who proposed planning the new coastline. 

A bridge was planned to be built between Tunisia and Sicily, which would have been connected by land to Italy.

Sörgel believed in globalization, peace and alternative energy, which were precisely the reasons why the project was not embraced by the Hitler regime. 

 

Present 

It is interesting to see that the central marine route, and most deadly one, in which refugees use to cross the mediterranean in 2017, passes exactly where the bridge was supposed to be built.

Fossil energy - oil, coal and natural gas, is a result of burial process of sedimentation and compression of organic materials underground. Thus, natural geological processes and human geography are bound together -

The victims that the sea has taken in recent years will in the future become energy that will serve a new movement.

  1. 1 Memory and the Mediterranean / Fernand Braudel

  2. Predrag Matvejevic, Mediterranean Breviary

Harlan Levey Projects

102,408, 2018

Geocells, wood and metal

240 x 240 x 13.5 cm

Far As Where Olive Grows, Low As The Bottom Of The Sea, 2018

Olive waste, plaster and wood

13 x 96 x 19 cm

Blood Rain, 2018

Seven Laboratory bowls, red algae

12 x 10.5 x 10.5 cm

Photos: Nina Janssens/ Harlan Levey Projects ; Małgorzata Kujda/ Wrocław Contemporary Museum