AQUARIA. Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea

MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology)


Axonometric view / Details. We have worked on the notions of interface and threshold by staging two categories of spatial devices: on the one hand an industrial system of displays to accommodate the research material; on the other a fluid sequence of spaces to orchestrate the artists' installations, which provides visual permeability to the whole and autonomy to each specific piece.
From March 18, 2021 until September 6, 2021
Aquaria – Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea reflects on the possibilities and new questions that arise when rethinking of our relationship with the marine world could come up against. Aquaria are devices that organise and represent marine life, they are complex systems which, in the paradigm of modernity and urbanisation, embody the transformation of Nature into Culture, with the help of thanks to the support of Technology and Capital.
This separation of culture as an entity divorced from the organic-natural world derives from scientific and rational attempts to categorise and organise. Today, such constructs that divide culture from nature no longer come across as convincing: the new climate regime calls for new narratives that go beyond the hierarchies which revolve around man and his exploitation of resources and bodies.
As part of the exhibition, a film commissioned to Armin Linke, which was realized entirely behind the scenes at Lisbon Oceanarium, examines the multidimensionality of aquatic architecture, in which the wonders of nature are displayed through hidden, well-orchestrated technology.
→ AQUARIA is curated by Angela Rui with exhibition design by 2050+ the studio headed by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, and graphic design by studio òbelo.
→ the exhibition features a newly commissioned film by Armin Linke fully realized inside the backstage of the Lisbon Oceanarium thank to this unprecedented collaboration with the museum.
→ the public program to include a collaboration with TBA21–Academy.
Aquaria – Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea, exhibition view at maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon), 2021 © Courtesy of EDP Foundation. Photography by Bruno Lopes.
Aquaria – Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea, exhibition view at maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon), 2021 © Courtesy of EDP Foundation. Photography by Bruno Lopes.
Aquaria – Or the Illusion of a Boxed Sea, installation view: Armin Linke, Oceanarium, 2021. maat – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon), 2021 © Courtesy of EDP Foundation. Photography by Bruno Lopes.
Marjolijn Dijkman and Toril Johannessen, Reclaiming Vision, 2018, video still.
Eva Jack, Parallel Lives, 2020
Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Sterile, 2014
Michela De Mattei, Acquavideo, 2020, video still.
Armin Linke, Oceanario, Lisbon, 2020 (same captions for both images, "Oceanario is location, not title)
Illustration from "1001 Questions Answered about Your Aquarium", Ida M. Mellen, Robert J. Lanier, Dodd, Mead, 1935
Circus Aquarium, Lithograph, 1873
"L'Aquarium d'Eau de Mer", La Nature n.1425, 1900