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'Gate to the sea 1-2. Light background at large depth in the ocean' by Alina Izmailova at NII Sreda, Moscow

With every meter farther underwater the pressure increases, the mass thickens and the illumination level drops. Human diaphragm gets deformed and can no longer expand the lungs to make a breath; the eyes fail to pierce through the turbid waters. Man has devised media that have allowed him to survive in such conditions, but they came at the price of numerous human lives. To this day a submarine wreckage is the most horrifying way, in which claustrophobia can fulfill itself. 

There is a widespread notion that at great depths in the ocean there is nothing but darkness, because light from the surface does not reach there. However, it is wrong. The water there gives out a weak glow due to the Vavilov-Cherenkov effect – as a consequence of the decay of radioactive isotopes, in particular, potassium-40. Hypotheses have been put forward that the deep sea creatures have large eyes in order to be able to see in such low light. 

The thick but permeable space is infested by luminous flares that are caused by charged particles. 

Gate to the sea 1-2. Light background at large depth in the ocean — is a continuation of Alina Ismailova’s personal project (fftn, 2021 Saint-Petersburg) and the book «Gate to the sea», that has been created after it. This exhibition-essay offers a mediation on the landscape of the exhibition space and scientific metaphors for an object’s existence in it. 

27.11.21 — 26.12.21

Curated by Jenya Koinova

Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky

NII Sreda

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