'Whatever You Throw at the Sea... '
Art Installation by Zara Julius
27 April 2023 to 2 April 2024
Whatever You Throw at the Sea… is a research-derived audio-visual project by Johannesburg-based artist and researcher Zara Julius. Having critically engaged the collections of the Weltmuseum Wien and those of the Phonogrammarchiv at ÖAW (Austrian Academy of Sciences) during a research residency in the summer of 2022, the project eventually culminates in an installation at Weltmuseum Wien in April 2023. Zara Julius’s work considers the ways communities in Africa and the African diaspora have been at the literal frontlines of both ecological and cultural pillaging.
Through sonic assemblage in the form of a limited edition 12“ vinyl and use of material from the Weltmuseum Wien’s photographic collection, the installation thinks through oceanic and rhythmic logics as bound up in loss, life, death, and possibility.
About the exhibition
Central to Zara Julius’s practice is polyvocality. Consequently, Whatever You Throw at the Sea… has been produced with the participation of a number of cultural workers (based in Johannesburg and Vienna) whose personal histories are implicated in the project’s source materials from across the African continent and her diaspora.
It is at once a critique of
ethnographic and ‘scientific’ collections in the global north with their
impositions of time and history, and their co-presences of violence,
extraction, and gatekeeping, as well as a critique on the current
climate-discourse that fails to implicate coloniality in the enduring
climate crisis. The work proposes an oceanic worldview, and
centres African epistemologies as it thinks through the survival
guidelines and subversive strategies that are concealed within the
material locked up in the aforementioned collections. The project
imagines new futures and survivals for those most affected by climate
catastrophe in the wake of colonial and settler thievery.
For more on the opening events here
Zara Julius is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and vinyl selector based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She practices from a working methodology of ‘rapture’, and is concerned with the relationship between performativity, frequency, concealment, and fugitivity in the settler (post) colony, with a special focus on what we call the ‘Global South’. Working with sound, video, performance, and objects, Zara Julius’ practice involves the collection, selection, collage, and creation of archives (real, imagined, and embodied) through extensive research projects. She is especially engaged in thinking through the internal workings of the Black sonic, and how they might help us imagine new futures, and experience different present(s). She holds a BAHons in social anthropology from the University of Cape Town and a MAFA in Fine Art by Research and Practice from the University of the Witwatersrand. Zara has exhibited and presented her work across South Africa and internationally. www.zarajulius.com