Robin Dru Germany
February 2 – March 31, 2018
Helen DeVitt Jones Studio Gallery
“Overdue” is an exhibition of photographs that explore the porous border between the water and the land, between humans and nature and between knowing and darkness.
These photos are of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the context of science, religion and history, that deliver limited facts and uncertain truths, at the nexus of a conversation about the transience of knowledge and constancy of change.
Water is in our bodies, critical to our survival, surrounding us and flowing through our land. Water is in constant flux. Religions, science, history are crowded with fact and fictions about water but stop short of producing understanding or empathy for its hidden life. We are intimate with water yet little is acknowledged about its needs and requirements. When new creatures are discovered or greater depths are plumbed, the knowledge is treated like a distant novelty, as if the life beneath the sea were unrelated to our own lives. The border between air and water, like all borders, lines or walls encountered, demarcates difference and strangeness on the other side. The life beyond the border is less, sub, beneath our own, not worthy of thought or concern.
The photographs are made partially underwater, at the crux of two worlds. They are made with the camera suspended at the border between the air and water, peering into the dark water beneath at the same time as the sky and land above. The water is mostly impenetrable, a language I do not speak. They are two different environments, one in which air is inhaled and one in which water is the medium. In these photographs, I am more interested in what escapes us, what is obscured, the gaps and blank parts of our understanding. The border between the land and the water is tenuous but definite, and its surface reflects us as in the myth of Narcissus but reveals little below. I am seeking the stories in the water, unknowable stories of life and struggle, stories that are inextricably intertwined with ours and laden with implications for our future.