UNDERCURRENT

Installation at the Mikvah of the White Stork Synagogue, Breslau 2020. 

 

The project was supported by: Zurückgeben foundation, Germany;  PZU foundation, Wroclaw, Polen; Krupa Galerie, Wroclaw, Polen; Culture Zone, Wroclaw, Polen; Stiftung Bente Kahan, Wroclaw, Polen. 
Project producer: Agnieszka Marcinowska

Undercurrent  is an interactive installation, created for the Wroclaw Mikvah (ritual bath). Undercurrent invites visitors to wander around the Mikvah and physically engage with the space and the work. The installation is comprised of a hydraulic system and sculptural elements that refer to the surrounding architecture as well as to the human body. As part of the hydraulic system, wooden platforms are placed in and around the Mikvah. When visitors climb a platform and let their weight push against it, the sound of water is heard, and the sculptures move. Through the animation of architecture with water, Undercurrent reflects on notions of stability and belonging. With the Mikvah ritual as a point of departure and water as a symbol of purification, the unmediated encounter between the audience and the artwork becomes a contemporary ritual of renewal and change.

Excerpts from curatorial text by Agata Ciaston:

“…Heyne’s interactive installation makes the mikvah a concrete, tangible space […]

The installation strongly emphasizes the dependence of our spatial orientation on the body posture, whose verticality expresses control over the environment and the gravity. […] The installation disturbs the pattern of moving forwards and backwards and forces submission to the up-down movement, which triggers associations with being submerged in the waters of the mikvah and literally causes us to lose our foothold. The moving floor introduces a sense of unusualness and destabilization while referring to accumulated events from the past, or even secrets lurking under the surface […]  What results is a kind of sensual harmony and symmetry between the object, space and the participants’ bodies invited to interact with it. 

photo by Alicja Kielan