Allan Sekula: OKEANOS is a monographic exhibition that explores the legacy of Allan Sekula (American, 1951–2013) by charting the artist’s research into the world’s largest and increasingly fragile hydrosphere: our oceans. The exhibition title is a reference to the figure of Okeanos—the son of Gaia, the mythical goddess of the earth—who ruled over the oceans and water. His aquatic perspective—from and of the oceans—represents a shift of focus that counters the terrestrial ecologies of most contemporary discourses on the environment.
International Archives 1st half of 2017
Drawing from the Thyssen-
Other important works featured in the exhibition include two films: Tsukiji, 2001, and Lottery of the Sea, 2006, as well as photographic works from Sekula’s series "Black Tide / Marea negra," 2002–03; "Large and small disasters (Islas Cíes and Bueu, 12-
Francesca von Habsburg, founder of TBA21, notes, “Allan Sekula’s photography, films and writing open a window to the reality of life at sea. Sekula not only highlighted the ugliness of exploitation, he also revealed the beauty of the ordinary, of the everyday. His thoughtful work is a testament to resistance and to hope, and it plays a vital role in understanding the challenges facing our embattled oceans.”
Allan Sekula: OKEANOS inaugurates TBA21’s year-
Allan Sekula: Between discourse and document
Throughout his career as an artist, Sekula pioneered an expanded and critical practice, alongside his engagements as theorist, photographic historian, filmmaker and educator. Through these activities he was able to lead a prolific and deeply political career.
Sekula’s legacy and his pointed exploration of global ocean-
For many decades, Sekula passionately investigated the exploitative geopolitical constellations and labor relations active on seas, ports and harbors, which—almost invisibly—manage the shipment and distribution of goods in a highly interconnected world. His work highlights the oceans’ pivotal function in the world’s industrial systems and speaks to the vulnerability of its ecosystems and the social and personal precariousness of the actors engaged in these sea-
Sekula’s work epitomizes a profoundly thoughtful reflection on the nature of the image and its implications in the systems and institutions of archives. It offers a thorough investigation and a comprehensive archive of the seas, charting the many networks and interconnections of economy, politics, social conditions and ecology, while reshaping the system of knowledge itself.
Exhibition 21 February -
© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2017. All Rights Reserved
Allan Sekula, Middle Passage, chapter 3, Fish Story, 1994. Photo: The Estate of Allan Sekula, 1994.