Deep Water Cultures
Video Projections curated by Tina Sauerländer

  • Anuk Miladinovic © Anuk Miladinovic
    Anuk Miladinovic "Dream"
  • Jonas Blume © Jonas Blume
    Jonas Blume "ISO-E-Super"
  • Marte Kiessling © Marte Kiessling
    Marte Kiessling "Camac"

Deep Water Cultures

​Water, often referred to as the essence of life, is also the foundation of the cultural development of humans. Today water is used, applied and presented in a multitude of ways. The works by the artists Jonas Blume, Marte Kiessling and Anuk Miladinović center on the topic how humankind handles its most important element.

Jonas Blume reflects on cultural representations of water between reality and virtuality, realism and idealisation. The digital sequences of Iso-E-Super (2017) show water as a purging, natural, clear substance that the artist distributes over his body. The idealised aesthetics of this video collage combining real footage and digital images is deceiving – Iso-E-Super is a synthetic aroma-chemical that is added to many men’s fragrances, shampoos and soaps. As a toxic and bio-accumulative substance Iso-E-Super is harmful to the water system and as such should be classified as special waste, however, it lands uncontrolled in the groundwater and our eco-systems.

In Dream (2016), Anuk Miladinović creates collages from overlaying her own film sequences of different cultural uses of water, such as a swimming pool filled with impeccably clean water where people swim their laps, or a sluice filled with dirty water where large vessels pass through and disappear. The artist shows how water can be both a safe place for sports and wellness activities, as well as a contaminated global transport route for container ships that seem endless. There is no clear narrative; illogical and unrealistic contexts refer to a different fantasy world where the conditions of real life reflect the subconscious.

Camac (2014) by Marte Kiessling are window-like landscape collages from the surroundings of the Camac Art Centre in Marnay-sur-Seine, France, where the artist was a resident artist. Inspired by the serenity of nature, the movements of the birds and the air and the quiet steady rhythm of the Seine River nearby, Kiessling visualises the images in a flowing circle of shapes that continuously expand and contract. The images show excerpts of the countryside and the old monastery that houses the artist accommodations. In her work, nature is shown in its solemnity, as a place where one can find rest and meditation in our time. Culture seems to be following in the path of nature here and both coexist side by side.

About the artists and the curator

In his conceptual works, Jonas Blume reflects, across a variety of media, the conditions of life in the digital age, and the effects of the Internet and social networks on the identity of the individual, which he interprets as a dynamic entity. In his art he also explores the cultural concepts and uses of water, as well as the forms that these uses take in analog and digital environments. Jonas Blume, born in 1989 in Bielefeld, Germany, lives and works in Berlin. He studied sculpture at the Pratt Institute in New York and visual and media anthropology at the Free University in Berlin. His works have been exhibited in New York and Berlin.

Her conceptual approach makes it possible for Marte Kiessling to work in a wide range of media in which she presents her main topics – archiving, memory and the desire to understand the human need for coherent stories between fact and fiction. Her starting point is always her personal view of her surroundings. Marte Kiessling, who was born 1981 in Kelheim, Bavaria, and lives and works in Berlin, studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. She was awarded several residencies and scholarships including the RUD Air Residency Laxarby (Sweden), MAWA Residency (Winnipeg, Canada) as well as funding by the German Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa) and the Danish Arts Council (2012). Her works have been shown at solo exhibits in Berlin, Hamburg, New York, Trondheim and Tokyo.

The videos by Anuk Miladinović, distinct collages with elements from different contexts, often have no clear narrative and thus seem cryptic or absurd. Anuk Miladinović, who was born 1984 in Basel, Switzerland and lives in Munich and Basel, studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Her works received several awards, grants and funding, including funding from the Expert Committee Movie and Media Art Basel (2016), a project grant from the Bavarian State Ministry for Bavarian Studio Promotion for Fine Artists (2015), as well as project awards from the Erwin und Gisela von Steiner Foundation and the Karin Abt-Straubinger Foundation (2012). Her works have been exhibited in Munich, Basel, Belgrade, Leipzig, Moscow, Vienna and Jerusalem.

Tina Sauerländer is an art historian, curator and writer. She focuses primarily on the impact of the digital and the Internet on individual environments and society. With her exhibition hub peer to space she has been organizing and curating international group exhibitions in various institutions, e.g. Reset III and VIRTUAL REALITY (Cologne, 2017), The Unframed World. Virtual Reality as Artistic Medium for the 21st Century (Basel, 2017), When The Cat’s Away, Abstraction (Berlin, 2016), PORN TO PIZZA—Domestic Clichés (Berlin, 2015). She is the author of many comprehensive texts on contemporary artists, e.g. Taryn Simon, Alicja Kwade, Gregor Hildebrandt, Carsten Nicolai or Anselm Reyle for Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst. She contributes to the New York based blog ArteFuse about contemporary art exhibitions in Berlin. She is co-founder of Radiance, an international online platform and research database for artistic VR experiences. She is the founder of the SALOON, a network for women working in the art field in Berlin, Paris and Vienna. She is board member of the medienkunstverein (media arts society) in Berlin. 


The videos were shown in the windows of the institute every night until February 24, 2018. More info about the projections here.

The title DEEP WATER CULTURES refers to an agricultural method where plants are placed in water with a high nutrient content, which speeds up their growth and increases the yield. Deep Water Culture (DWC) symbolises the cultural urge of humans to create the best conditions, boost efficiency, and improve the natural setting. The title also summarises the topic of the artworks on display, which feature different concepts of the cultural handling of water.