By: CACT On: 11/01/2017 In: Museo Atlantico

The Museo Atlántico of Lanzarote opened its doors to the world today, as the first underwater art museum in Europe.

The president of the Cabildo of Lanzarote, Pedro San Ginés, and the author of the monumental artistic exhibition, British eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, both cut the traditional inaugural ribbon, in this case, with the peculiarity of doing so underwater, launching a message of hope for the Big Blue.

The internationally acclaimed sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has installed the final phase of his last project “Museo Atlántico”, the first underwater contemporary art museum in Europe. Located in the coast of Lanzarote, Spain, it is a 14-metre deep, unique and permanent exhibition.

The creation of this monumental project has taken two years to complete and it aims to create a strong visual dialogue between art and nature. It has been designed from a conservationist approach aiming to create a large scale artificial reef. The first parts, installed in February 2016, have already experienced a significant increase in the levels of generation and abundance of species, and are already being frequented by angel sharks, shoals of barracuda and sardines, octopus, marine sponges and the occasional butterfly stingray.

 This is the first time that Taylor installs architectural structures of such magnitude. The new installations include a 100-tonne and 30-metre long wall; the sculpture of a botanic garden that makes reference to the local flora and fauna, and a set of 200 real size human figures that make up a human whirlwind.

The museum takes up 50×50 metres of lifeless sandy seabed, built with neutral pH materials that respect the environment, and all the pieces have been designed to adapt to the endemic marine life.

The project has been promoted by the Art, Culture and Tourism Centres of the Cabildo of Lanzarote, whose network it is now part of. It has also been co-financed by the Government of the Canary Islands.

New sculptures in the Museo Atlántico

The Immortal

Molded from a local fisherman from La Graciosa island, on the north coast of Lanzarote, the sculpture is made up of a series of concrete sticks and it is representing a traditional funeral pyre.

Crossing the Rubicon

Crossing the Rubicon consists of a group of 35 figures walking towards an underwater wall and entrance, a boundary between two realities and a portal to the Atlantic Ocean. The wall, which is part industrial, part organic, stretches 30 metres long and 4 metres high and contains a single rectangular doorway at its centre. The wall is intended to be a monument to absurdity, a dysfunctional barrier in the middle of a vast fluid, three-dimensional space, which can be bypassed in any direction. It emphasises that the notions of ownership and territories are irrelevant to the natural world. In times of increasing patriotism and protectionism the wall aims to remind us that we cannot segregate our oceans, air, climate or wildlife as we do our land and possessions. We forget we are all an integral part of a living system at our peril.

To cross the Rubicon is to pass a point of no return. The work aims to mark 2017 as a pivotal moment, a line in the sand and reminder that our world’s oceans and climate are changing and we need to take urgent action before its too late.

Portal

The Portal depicts a hybrid animal/human sculpture looking into a large square mirror, which reflects the moving surface of the ocean. Forming part of the underwater botanical garden the concept is intended to portray water within water, an interface or looking glass into another world, the blue world. The mirror is elevated on a series of cactus forms which contain a series of small compartments and “living stations” designed to attract octopus, sea urchins and juvenile fish.

Deregulated

Deregulated consists of a children’s playground enjoyed by suited businessmen. A swing, a sea-saw, a play dolphin ride all demonstrate the insouciance and arrogance of the corporate world towards the natural world. The sea-saw references a petroleum extraction pump, a comment on the control of these fossil fuels and their unregulated use. The dolphin ride is indicative of the burden we are placing on marine species and its ultimate collapse if left unchecked.

The Human Gyre

La última pieza del Museo Atlántico es el remolino humano, un conjunto de alrededor de 200 obras figurativas a tamaño real que crean una gran formación circular. Los modelos que la componen son personas de todas las edades y estilos de vida. La posición de las figuras crea una compleja formación como arrecife habitable por especies marinas y constituye una emotiva despedida para los visitantes al final del tour. La instalación artística nos recuerda que hemos evolucionado desde la vida marina y que todos estamos sujetos a los cambios y a la voluntad del océano. La pieza personifica nuestra desnuda vulnerabilidad al poder inherente del mar y nuestra fragilidad frente a su inmensa fuerza y ciclos. De él proviene el oxígeno que respiramos, regula nuestro clima y constituye una fuente vital de nutrientes para millones de personas.

The last exhibit in Museo Atlantico is the Human Gyre, over 200 life-size figurative works creating a vast circular formation or gyre. Consisting of various models of all ages and from all walks of life, the positioning of the figures constructs a complex reef formation for marine species to inhabit and is a poignant statement for visitors to take with them at the end of the tour.

The artistic installation reminds us that we have evolved from marine life, and are all subject to the movements and will of the ocean. The piece embodies our naked vulnerability to its inherent power, and our fragility in the face of its cycles and immense force. It provides the oxygen we breathe, it regulates our climate and it provides a vital source of nutrition to millions of people.

A visit to Museo Atlantico may lead us to a closer understanding of our relationship with the natural marine environment and appreciate the need to value and protect this fragile ecosystem in order to save ourselves.

A visit to Museo Atlantico may lead us to a closer understanding of our relationship with the natural marine environment and appreciate the need to value and protect this fragile ecosystem in order to save ourselves.

We hope that a visit to the Atlantic Museum lead us to a better understanding of our relationship with the marine environment and to appreciate the need to value and protect this fragile ecosystem to save our own lives.

Note: If you want to visite The Museum Atlantico, you can find all the information in this page

1 Comments:

    • Arek Geratowski
    • February 02, 2017
    • Reply

    Fantastic extension of the true Lanzarote spirit and character – irreal underwater everyday-changing art!

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