‘Infinity Pool’ by Catherine Biocca at Polansky Gallery, Prague
There is something remarkably soothing about staring into a fish bowl or an aquarium. While passively gazing upon the contained aqueous life forms bobbing back and forth, the depths and mysteries of the sea are smoothly domesticated and shrunken down to the size of a TV screen. The certain calm perhaps emanates from the unquestioned, unchallenged roles of viewer and object, the feeling of one’s ability to see everything, and engage or disengage at will.
For the exhibition Infinity Pool, Catherine Biocca has created an immersive and ever-expanding environment that challenges our depth perception as well as the seemingly unshakeable relationship between the object and the viewer. Through sculptural installation, painting, and video animations, Infinity Pool presents various dimensional layers of which the exhibition viewer becomes an immediate and involuntary part of. Seemingly inanimate at first glance, Biocca’s anthropomorphized aquatic characters converse and judge their surroundings, reveal their anxieties and desires, and make plans for later. Sculptural references to historical triumphs are worn down and repurposed, at best hanging on to their decorative qualities. With omniscience stripped and communication lines opened, Infinity Pool invites the viewer to jump head first into the fishbowl.