Animated Science, Interior Activism, and the Ocean TBA21–Academy | The Soul Expanding Ocean

This conversation held at Ocean Space in Venice (Chiesa di San Lorenzo) is an oral account of the oceanic journeys taken by artists Dineo Seshee Bopape and Diana Policarpo. From the Solomon Islands to plantations on the Mississippi river, Jamaica, and then back home to South Africa, Bopape’s experience of the Ocean opened immersive ways to form connections between a new sensorial experience, ancestors, slavery routes, and a practice capable of touching the audience the same way the spirits of the Ocean touched her. Policarpo took her point of departure from a research trip to the Portuguese administered Ilhas Selvagens (Savage Islands) in the North Atlantic Ocean, from which she created a case study of mapping colonial histories through tracking natural biodiversity. The world of dreams and science are joined in this dialogue, questioning the seemingly irreconcilable nature of these spheres, and revealing that technology can be devoted to translating healing practices for the self and the environment through artistic practices.

This conversation took place on April 20, 2022 at Ocean Space, Venice, as the joint artist talk dedicated to Bopape’s exhibition Ocean! What If No Change Is Your Desperate Mission?, and Policarpo’s Ciguatera, both curated by Chus Martínez, as a part of a two-year curatorial cycle entitled The Soul Expanding Ocean at Ocean Space. The event was organized in collaboration with Mousse Magazine.

The Soul Expanding Ocean #3: Dineo Seshee Bopape
“lerato laka le a phela le a phela / my love is alive, is alive, is alive” (2022) and “Ditšhegofatšo / timeless monuments” (2022)
Curated by Chus Martínez
April 9 – October 2, 2022
Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy, partly as the result of a TBA21–Academy Residency at Alligator Head Foundation, Jamaica, in 2021.

The work lerato laka le a phela le a phela le a phela / my love is alive, is alive, is alive, 2022 has been co-produced with Pirelli HangarBicocca. The work Ditšhegofatšo / timeless monuments, 2022 has been co-produced with Aorist.

The Soul Expanding Ocean #4: Diana Policarpo
Curated by Chus Martínez
April 9 – October 2, 2022
Co-produced by TBA21–Academy and Centro de Arte Moderna Gulbenkian, in collaboration with Instituto Gulbenkian Ciência. With the support of Camões and the Embassy of Portugal in Rome.

Credit list of the images used in the conversation here
Access audio file here.

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04/05 2022
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water