Marina Zurkow’s immersive installation, Boil the Ocean, represents humankind’s unbalanced relationship with the ocean. The exhibition signals the severe ecological threat marine ecosystems face while the title is also an idiom that refers to a futile task. Conservation efforts are highly politicized as society views the ocean as a resource for food, fuel, entertainment, minerals, and building materials.
Zurkow’s installation breaks down the supplier-consumer-dominated exchange with the ocean by inviting the audience to consider a more “wet logic” — an approach that all things are in a state of continuous change and flux.
In the gallery, aided by the constructed marine debris island, visitors can see, smell, touch, hear and taste their presence within the ocean. The installation invites participants to re-imagine their connections to the ocean and challenge their conditioned perspectives. By slowing down in a complex space of systems, an opportunity arises to assume an ocean-centric view that encompasses the graceful, filthy, tangled, fantastic realities and imaginary churns.
This marine viewpoint is paralleled in the generative animations embedded within the debris island; they evoke a sense of leaving all temporalities behind as the animations are continuously and randomly encountering each other on-screen. The algorithmic works, like the ocean, have a life of their own beyond the audiences’ presence; however, the relationships between the installation, the ocean, and the viewer are defined by these short moments of interaction.
Zurkow questions how we can get beyond a singular set of compartmentalized, human-centric perspectives that govern one’s behavior. Instead, she offers a more expansive notion of familiarity and affection with the ocean, in the hope of better guiding future actions.
The ICA San Diego is working closely with Californian organizations that focus on marine debris recovery, recycling, and education to both acquire materials for the installation and gain a deeper understanding of their organizational efforts. Follow us on social media to learn more about these organizations.
About the Artist
Interdisciplinary artist Marina Zurkow builds animations and immersive unconventional public participatory projects centered on humans and their relationship to the environment. Zurkow’s work engages audiences using film and video, sculpture, print graphics, and public interventions that create powerfully thought-provoking and contemplative experiences.
Zurkow was born in New York in 1962 and is currently based there. Recent solo exhibitions of her work include bitforms gallery in New York; Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul;
Google, Pier 57, NY 2021 (forthcoming); 150 Stream, Chicago, IL; MTA Arts & Design, NY
Contemporary Art Museum St Louis, MO; UCLA LENS, Los Angeles, CA; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT Hilliard University Art Museum, Lafayette, LA
Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey; Chronus Art Center, Shanghai; the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey;. Her work has also been featured at FACT, Liverpool; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston amongst many others. She has conducted public engagement programs with Creative Time, New York; LACE, Los Angeles; Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey; The New Museum’s Ideas City, New York; Northern Lights.mn, Minneapolis; The Artist’s Institute, New York; 01SJ Biennial, San Jose, California; Rice University, Houston; Boston University; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; and Baruch College, New York. Zurkow is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow and has been granted awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. She is represented by bitforms gallery.
November 19th, 2021 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Art Exploration: Marina Zurkow
December 9th, 2021 | 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
OOzy: Ocean Thinking and Being (a guided meditation with eyes wide open)
December 12th, 2021 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
January 15th, 2022 | 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Soupy Salty Sonic: An Edible Exploration of Fluid Ocean Inner Spaces (Private Experience: RSVP is needed)
by Marina Zurkow & Anna Rose Hopkins
January 21st, 2022 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Soupy Salty Sonic: A liquid wanting (Public experience at the beach)
by Marina Zurkow & Anna Rose Hopkins
January 23rd, 2022 | 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
This project is generously supported by
. BUTTGENBACH FOUNDATION