Water is something that has always fascinated mankind for centuries. Fluid enough to slip through our fingers, yet strong enough to erode rocks. When we’re in it, we feel weightless, yet it could just as easily take control of us. And when we’re submerged, it’s almost like we’re in another dimension, unsure of what lies waiting for us above. Breaking Surface examines the similarities we share with water, as well as the mystery it creates for us.
A group exhibit, Breaking Surface features several different works dealing with water. Subjects range from calming waves to detailed images of the various ripples of disturbed water. The various artworks represent the varied mood of water – volatile, relaxing, serene or accepting. And not all of the images are at odds with each other, despite their subject matter. Holger Eckstein’s soothing image of waves and the horizon is as tranquil as Cheryl Maeder’s image of a submerged girl, seeking solitude under the benevolent liquid. They both contrast with Aldara Ortega’s inherently action filled shot of an immersed naked woman writhing with black fabric. And one particular piece by Matthew Wachsman could represent the terrifying enveloping darkness and bright spots experienced by a drowning person overcome by the deluge.
Moreover, the phenomenon of reaching through and coming back into the world is hinted at throughout the exhibit. The eerie quiet of being submerged is palpable in certain works, and the desire to come up for air – in more ways than one – is just as present. Viewing the work stirs a feeling within to confront the secrets we keep submerged within ourselves.
The exhibit successfully takes you on a trip of the many diverse forms water likes to assume. From the joyful to the terrifying, it’s all there. The exhibit is on view at the Ca’ D’Oro in New York from August 13 – September 2, 2015.