Sea You Bye The Sea (English)
Abyss and island. Dream and nightmare. Love and death. Eternal places. Eternal night. Prisons with a
sea view. Below and above the sea level. The myth of the journey to the island of love ends in turning
away from the world. At the bottom of the sea, where the blue gold has turned into black. Into a fiction.
Into a projection. Everything here and there becomes endless.
The reversal of the inverted world is a reversal.
The installation “Sea You Bye The Sea“ bases on different visual and audiovisual layers and contents
for the deconstruction of utopia itself.
At the same time “Sea You Bye The Sea“ deals with the model of the island as a symbolic and also
real place, but still in a utopian sense.
Found Footage of the deep sea and oceanography, representing a complex system on the bottom of
the sea, where the origin of life on earth could have been, is assembled with the filmed image of an
unfinished construction site of a building on the “island of love“ Kythera. This scenery is arranged with
fragments of the three paintings “Embarquement to Kythera“ (1710, 1717, 1718) by the French18th
century painter Antoine Watteau.
Projecting directly onto the floor on the one hand suggests the impression of an island, on the other
hand the view of the spectator is directed into the deepness of the ocean, into a dark hole. The
spectator himself stands on the edge of an abyss. A gaze into the assumed black nothing, however
turns into something alive. A place where strange and unknown beings glow. Like rays of hope
fantastic mythical creatures appear and disappear in the eternal darkness of the never ending night in
the spotlight of the researchers. This abyss - the shape of the projection - could also be the coast of
The monitor shows a coastal landscape on the “island of love“ Kythera where the goddess of love
“Aphrodite“ was born, seen through the construction site of an unfinished house. Fragments and
figures of the three paintings “Embarquement to Kythera“ by Watteau, so called „Fêtes galantes“
paintings, that show the courtly-aristocratic society of the 18th century searching a place to hide as a
refuge from their privileged life and their love adventures free from pain, mix with the “projection
screen“ and at the same time „disturb“ the free view to the sea. The suggested “stage“ of the filmed
image reminds and follows the stage character of the original paintings of Watteau. On the sound
layer fragments of the 1988 film “Dangerous Liaisons“ are assembled to a montage about love and
failure. The film is about the love intrigues of the illustrious society of the 18th century that in the end
fail by their self-created amusements, plots and rules. The protagonists end in social decline and
death, becoming actors of their own wrong game.
In the following centuries Watteaus paintings were taken as an ideal by different societies for their
Utopia - the ideal draft of a better world - freed from all human indeterminableness, describes a
society without exploitation and one-sided accumulation of wealth which is determined by a wellintended
draft of playful and therefore cruel intentions by a humanistic intellectual of the 16th century.
A world with a totally predictable future turns into a world without a future, a distopia.
On a symbolic level Utopia and Kythera - both islands - become prisons with a sea view. In both
cases the lavishness of a privileged European society is criticized.