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For Art Basel 2017, this artist went underwater to raise sociopolitical awareness

Talk about adding depth to your work. People are calling this the year’s most provocative film festival, and with entries like this, we’re not surprised.

Dutch-Filipino artist Martha Atienza has always gone after stranger tides. Her art has long been provocative and courageous, and this year’s Art Basel was a chance for her to move the dial once more.

Her video installation Our Islands, 11°16`58.4″ 123°45`07.0″E features figures traversing a dead reef, and touches on various hot topics – climate change, religion, migrant workers, natural disasters, politics – and how they all tie in together.

“Its characters’ balletic movements help the viewer feel their struggle for air and the weight of the water above them. But a closer inspection hints at the bigger issues at play,” writes Don Jaucian.

#MarthaAtienza #silverlensgalleries #Statements #Artbasel

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“Atienza’s work addresses serious environmental questions: How the islands’ marine ecosystems are in peril and how its inhabitants are abandoning their heritage to look for opportunities elsewhere – as seafarers on international ships or even as domestic helpers abroad.”

Our Islands bagged the prestigious Baloise Prize – an award given to two young artists in the Statements section of Art Basel.

“I never looked at coming [to Art Basel] – I was always running from white spaces,” Atienza says.

“But there are people all over the world who are taking the time to watch the work, and they only want to talk after watching. So I am sharing [our project]. And that’s what its all about: connecting with others and creating dialogue.”

For more of Martha Atienza’s work, visit her website.

And for other art that’s made use of the ocean and other water environments, click the link below.

Via CNN

About the author

Filipino writer who calls the road home, eager to tell the stories of the world—from sea to summit, small towns to big cities, cultures old and new. Enjoys drinking IPAs while watching his favorite sports teams lose. Minimalist.

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