THINKING CURRENTS Participating Artist: MAP Office – Laurent GUTTIEREZ, Valerie PORTEFAIX

MAP Office – Laurent GUTTIEREZ, Valerie PORTEFAIX (Hong Kong)

Moving Lemuria from the Indian to the Pacific Ocean, 2015, Installation (seashells from Sanibel Island, plastic particles, drawings)

Lemuria (Mu), variously located in the Indian and Pacific Oceans—a hypothetical lost continent, with its long-debated myths, legends, and histories, is re-envisioned as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, first identified in the 1990s. Made of floating debris, it is the world’s biggest landfill, moving slowly, clockwise, along with a spiral of currents. Mu is therefore a continent in-flux, manifesting the *Anthropocene era in the form of a giant plastic garbage vortex in the North Pacific region, just above Hawaii and facing Seattle.  (* The beginning of humanity’s destructive impact on Earth’s ecosystems).

Island is Land, single-channel video, color, silent, 30″. loop (right)

An island is never about the production nor the origin of things, but rather about the possibilities of reproduction or second-origin. The sailor who first spots an island after a tragic journey will be shouting “land!” and not “island!” The video explores islands as anomalies through semiotic ambiguity; as land that is both opposed-to and reliant-on water for its existence.

About the artists:

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez and Valérie Portefaix. This duo of artists/architects has been based in Hong Kong since 1996, working on physical and imaginary territories, using varied means of expression including drawing, photography, video, installations, performance, and literary and theoretical texts. Their entire project forms a critique of spatio-temporal anomalies and documents how human beings subvert and appropriate space. Their work has been exhibited in major international art, design, and architecture events at venues including Shanghai Gallery of Art, Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. MAP Office was the recipient of the 2013 edition of the Sovereign Asian Art Prize.