The Ways of Water

3 June - 10 July, Melkweg Expo, Amsterdam (NL).
Opening 3 June, 17:00-21:00

The group exhibition The Ways of Water, on view at Melkweg Expo from 3 June until 10 July 2022, explores the relationship between humans and water through photography and art installations: the dependence, as well as the subordination of humans to water. A number of (inter)national and multimedia artists investigate the influence of man-made climate change, pollution and depletion on the water on our planet.

Paradoxically, this source of life is both destructive and devastating, as well as necessary and beneficial. Water is fundamental in the development of our societies—both as a threat, a resource and as a source of inspiration. Our understanding of water—in our religions and beliefs, as well as in the imagination of artists and writers—is incredibly powerful. Water is the source of life, is naturally healing and protective.

The participating artists:
Suzette Bousema concentrates on plastic soup in the poetic series Future Relics, and in the series Climate Archive she photographed ‘ice cores’—tubular samples of ice—that are used as a tool for observing climate change. Jana Romanova shows the scarcity of water through her Water Portraits. For the photographer, it's not the way we look, but the way we act that determines our portraits. Koos Buster created ceramic ‘disposable bottles’ especially for this exposition. Buster is shocked by how many plastic bottles with Spa mineral water are available in a country ranked with the best drinking tap water in the world. Mazen Al Ashkar concentrates on the healing power of water. In times of sickness, his grandmother used to recite the words of a blessing over a glass of water; she believed it would then help heal his pain once consumed.

Frank Bloem created the scent of the North Sea—what do you smell when you smell the North Sea, besides seaweed, crabs and jellyfish? In The Flood, Tina Farifteh aims to dissect the water metaphor—to understand and visualise the dominant discourse on migration and question the framing of refugees as a natural disaster. The Water School (initiated by studio Makkink & Bey) shows possible future-oriented solutions for a different approach to water. In the sound installation by Elise ‘t Hart, you will hear the many sounds of water as it streams, splashes, drips, flushes and gurgles, taken from her sound archives. They represent the everyday sounds of domestic life, and make us realise that water is all-encompassing.

This programme is part of the overarching programme Manifest for the living in a time of extinction by Holland Festival.

See the full video here.