Developed alongside the research and concept of the Mediterranea biennale, School of Waters (Archive Books, 2021) acts as a reader gathering a series of intertwined curatorial perspectives and visual contributions by the 65 participating artists.
‘Mediterranea 19—School of Waters’ imagines a Biennale as a temporary school inspired by radical and experimental pedagogies and the way they challenge artistic, curatorial, and research formats. From this standpoint, School of Waters acts as a collective tool to defamiliarise stereotypes that manipulate our geographical imaginaries, especially those linked to the eurocentric interpretation of the Mediterranean area.
Acknowledging that humans have the ability to gather, create a community and exchange information, through gossip, storytelling and speaking about things that do not exist, Mediterranea 19 redirects its attention to arguments against human exceptionalism and aims to reconfigure the notion of learning through commoning knowledges present within non/human and human structures.
School of Waters revolves around a critical rethinking of the material and symbolic agency of waters from a geopolitical and deep-ecology perspective. The desire to learn from waters reveals ways to un-train nationalisms and rediscover watery syncretism that constituted the Mediterranean as a complex platform of life forms and knowing processes.
Oceans, seas, ice caps, glaciers, lakes, rivers, aquifers, ponds, snow, rain are fluid, they melt, condense, evaporate and are able to traverse and appear in different states. These water formations suggest the possibility of reshaping the understanding of static identities and sense of belonging in the Mediterranean, starting not from the lands but from its waters.
Alcaeus Spyrou is a filmmaker living and working in The Hague and Athens. Heavily influenced by cinema at the turn of the century, montage drives his narratives forward in search of new experiments in storytelling.
Dina Mimi is a visual artist living and working in Jerusalem and Amsterdam and researching issues regarding the body and death in the public sphere.
Simone Frangi is a researcher and writer based in Milan and Grenoble working at the intersection of critical thinking, curatorial research and pedagogical practices.
Angeliki Tzortzakaki is a curator, writer and editor living in Amsterdam and Athens. Her non-disciplinary practice lies in-between text, movement and notes on the dramaturgy of everyday life.