The Ocean Wants You Back  
Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Centre for Projection Art, 2021 + Spier Light Art, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2022 

Curated by Jacob Tolo, this year we hit fast forward to 500 years into the future, asking artists for speculative visions far beyond the now and to consider the importance of constructs such as colour, race, gender, sexuality, age, ability, class and nationality.

In The Ocean Wants You Back, human skin cannot be exposed to the atmosphere. Physical distinctions between cultures and gender are concealed by protective clothing. We are unified by our fragility, equally vulnerable to the punishing reality of our changing environment. In this future, we witness window cleaners abseil down a building. Fully covered, they clean away the surface to reveal a window into the possible future of this site. With each stroke a new section of the projection is revealed, exposing blinding light emanating from a potent, volatile sea. As the workers descend into the earth the ocean begins to darken. This work embodies the precarity of the human condition, whilst questioning the future of our rising seas.

Special thanks to the team at Circus Oz and the Centre for Projection Art for presenting this project.

Artist talk audio & transcript


Single channel projection still, 2021, Turning Point, Gertrude Street. Photo: Lauren Dunn. 

The ocean wants you back, 2022, single channel projection still, Spier Light Art Festival, Stellenbosch, SA. Photo: Spier Light Art.

July, 2021 – March, 2022