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Normalnull: German for sea-level, the average height of the sea/ocean, used as the basis for measuring the height of all places on land
(The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary)
Sixteen international artists exhibit on Berlin waters.
Sixteen artists from the UK, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany this summer and autumn will turn Berlin's waters into their exhibition space with installation and performance works.
Normalnull puts water as a medium, as a sui generis mirror of social change, at the centre of artistic creation.
The waterways in Berlin's city area are essentially process waters, unspectacular, neither a stream nor a storm tide. The entire city appears to swim on its water table, which often lies only inches beneath townhouse basements. During the time of Berlin's major reconstruction water surfaces migrated throughout the regenerating centre. Both divers and subaqueously curing concrete experienced a sudden surge in popularity. Since then, Berlin's water has returned to their level of day-to-day ubiquity.
And serves as our exhibition's Normalnull, sea-level, reference surface.
The installations produced by the artists exhibit great variety, as floating objects or acting against the movements of the waters. They are flooded, washed out, dampened, and saturated. Some corrode whilst others remain dry in opposition. Installations range from accessible floating structures, visible or invisible objects, to inflatable sculptures. Performative contributions enrich the water space. According to the perspective, water is a venue of loss of orientation, a source of infantile joy and a medium of weightlessness, is stored energy or a formula (H2O). Special events mediate the project for audiences - family orientated events and activities open up the main concepts of the show for a wide range of visitors. Video-screenings, performances, lectures and an extensive archive supplemented by a reading-room, all seek to increase accessibility.
Normalnull - learn to swim is funded by the Culture Minister of State's Capital's Culture Foundation (Hauptstadtkulturfonds)
A German-English catalogue will be released.