On May 27, artist-in-residence Sonia Levy spoke to the Moving Image Arts Master program students at University Iuav in Venice. During her lecture, she introduced her projects, For the Love of Corals and Creatures of the Line, giving insight into her research.
“For the Love of Corals explores the work of the coral restoration project ‘Project Coral’ located behind the scenes at the Horniman Museum, an anthropology and NH Museum in South London, which also has an aquarium in its basement. The film follows the life cycle of the endangered marine invertebrates over a season in their laboratory tanks, replicating the seasonality and moon phase of an Australian reef in the basement of the London Museum. It is a cinematic inquiry focusing on the daily labour of caring for endangered beings, the relentless attempt of the team to resuscitate corals from extinction.” (Sonia Levy)
After diving deeper into a few of For the Love of Corals’ research points, Levy continued with her collaboration with another artist-in-residence, anthropologist Heather Ann Swanson. In Creatures of the Line, they examine “how desires for economic growth and linear progress have structurally reshaped English land waterscapes. Attempting to work from within submerged sites and muddy perspectives, rather than from grand narratives or “god’s-eye” viewpoints, the work begins inside canals, telling stories from within the lines. Making use of the open-ended sensibilities of ethnography and natural history, the film raises questions about ecological transformations and their ties to the infrastructures of the global political economy.” (Sonia Levy)
The presentation was followed by a discussion where students and Levy reflected on generative ways of collaboration between art and science and the role of image and imagination in undoing devastation.
Image from the movie ‘Creatures of the Line’