For her newly commissioned work at Ocean Space, Diana Policarpo is developing a multimedia installation, using film and audio to enhance a certain sense of presence while capturing her own research process. Taking her point of departure from a research trip to the Portuguese administered Ilhas Selvagens (Savage Islands) in the North Atlantic Ocean, Policarpo creates a case study of mapping colonial histories through tracking natural biodiversity.
With their technological lenses, cameras can see layers of life activity that human eyes cannot. Embedded in the very substance of the installations, these films become another sculptural material and, as such, they have the same function: to create a dramaturgy where we understand that science is implicated in colonial processes and entangled in power relations. While microorganisms have formed part of myths since ancient times and storytelling has a filmic quality, one could say that in both installations the camera is closer to a mouth that tells than to an eye that records.
This new work marks a jump in scale and ambition to constitute Policarpo’s biggest sculptural installation to date, giving the artist an opportunity to unfold her artistic vocabulary in full. In her treatment of sculpture, transparency and fluidity play a key political and aesthetic role. She wants our bodily experiences being affected and transformed; these experiences becoming a liquid substance similar to water and able to respond to the settings created by the artist. The materiality of the artworks contributes to a feeling of being inside the Ocean and thinking from within.