An Aquatic Video Performance Immerses Us in the California Drought / Hyperallergic

Installation view of ‘Lars Jan: HOLOSCENES/Quaternary Suite’ at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (photo © 2015 Don Milici, all images courtesy of the Pasadena Museum of California Art)

Installation view of ‘Lars Jan: HOLOSCENES/Quaternary Suite’ at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (photo © 2015 Don Milici, all images courtesy of the Pasadena Museum of California Art)

LOS ANGELES — Imagine you are trying to get dressed underwater but every time you lift your arms the water you’re wading through pulls them back down. Like a blinded, injured fish you want to sink into the abyss of your tank and just flounder. You can see the chlorine-blue water but can’t see through it.

Currently on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art is artist Lars Jan’s project HOLOSCENES / Quaternary Suite, showing videos of performers Geoff Sobelle and Annie Saunders, who recently starred in the site-specific theatre piece The Day Shall Declare It, immersed in cylinders continuously flooding with water. These aquatic performances play within a video triptych and the five light circumferences. Inside the watery bubbles, the performers do everyday things such as get dressed for work, eat ramen, and make phone calls, but they struggle the entire time against the weight of this seemingly endless water supply, an ironic gesture since the end of California’s water supply is near.

There are two elements at play in Jan’s work: one local to California, and one global. From 2012–2014, California experienced the worst drought in 1,200 years. The state is running out of water and it’s curious to note that 10 percent of California water apparently goes toalmond farming, while 70 percent of urban water use goes to landscaping and sprinklers.

Read the full review on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/193556/an-aquatic-video-performance-immerses-us-in-the-california-drought/