TBA21 x DIFF
Water(y) Witnesses - A selection of commissions and works from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary collection
Mní Wičóni! (“Water is life!”). So chanted Native American activists at the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in Standing Rock, North Dakota, 2016. When water is analogous to life, it is more than a human right. Spanning 15 years of artistic production, this selection from TBA21’s archives interlaces a range of narratives in which water—in rivers, as ice, for drinking and ancestral—is not only restituted from its deadly materiality but acknowledged as an agent that witnesses, interacts with and binds human worlds. The three works in the package trace the material memory of rivers, in the face of environmental hazard and political drama. The pieces span the relocation of mainly Roma refugees to the shores of Serbia’s Danube River in the early 2000s, the post-Hurricane Katrina waterscape of the Mississippi and devastation of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, and a forensic episode related to the US invasion of Iraq, featuring three watery witnesses.