French duo Forlane 6 Studio uses an atypical backdrop for their art installations: the depths of the sea. Hortense Le Calvez and Mathieu Goussin debuted Disoriented this year, an exhibition set in Vlychos Beach in Greece. Each of these show “explores themes of environmental dystopia, eco-anxiety, and the anthropocene.”
Swimmers and divers can either visit the exhibition under the water or on its surface. There are nine large wooden sculptures of palm trees suspended in the water, between 2 to 5 meters in length.
From an official description: “Disoriented, imagines a story of seed migration. The coconut palm species is an extraordinary sailor, able to drift above the ocean during many months waiting to encounter a piece of land to grow onto. Palm trees rising, on previously barren islands, are often the result of such voyage. Which form could this resilient plant take, confronted to a world with higher sea levels and disappearing atolls? Unable to reach any dry sand, could the leaves take a downward direction and mimic the behaviour of the feather starfish? The work dreams an encounter between the two species caught in an aimless storm and moody currents. The arrows refer to the wind and current patterns found on weather charts with here no clear trajectory.”
Though the specific objects used offer something new, the pair aren’t the first to do an exhibit in the water. Artist Salvo Galano placed photos in Italian waters for a show in 2014. Jason deCaires Taylor’s shown eerie figurative sculptures lining the sea floor. In a more controversial move involving a waterway, artist Will Christo spent two decades planning “Over the River,” which would have stretched a shimmering cloth over six miles of the Arkansas River. The project was challenged and halted over concerns of its environmental impact.
Check out similar past efforts from Forlane 6 Studio below.