How do we define the concept of the individual in our contemporary age? And has the idea of a singular identity become obsolete? In order to achieve a more active impression of the future while faced with planetary crises, we must envision an image of true collectivity: embracing the concept of multiplicity, and mirroring how multiple beings can inhabit one body, acting as one entity. The Man o’ War is a marine creature that is exactly that: an animal made of multiple beings joined into one body. They are poisonous creatures with multiple tentacles that can stretch up to 30 meters attached to a single gas filled chamber that floats above the surface of water. This seductive animal may resemble a creature from outer space, or a piece of high-art glass, but its poison is potent and its sting fatal. However, if its gas filled chamber is pierced, all the beings attached to it will die, so it is both powerful and extremely fragile at the same time.
In this installation, multiple Man-o-wars are laid out in an outdoor space by the sea, as if they have just crawled out of it. The installation invites us to reflect on our current collective status, and of what being an individual today means.
Commissioned by UCCA Dune