THE DROUGHT
2013

The works in The Drought originate from research trips to two locations in the Mediterranean region—the ancient salt pans of Margherita di Savoia on the Adriatic coast of Italy and a desalination plant at the Llobregat River outside Barcelona. The crystal photo sculpture, inverted space molecule, and layered glass-plate transparencies in the series documented these sites where the scarcity of freshwater is the premise for production processes: one facility subtracts the salt from water and the other extracts it from the enormous dry sea basin. Salt, once a precious commodity—got its name from the word salary because it was used as payment for Roman soldiers—is now often associated with contaminated freshwater reservoirs. The two locations reflect both the desperation involved in tackling the recurring heat waves of the region and the newfound profits being made in a landscape of transition.

The series also includes two sculptures. The looped hourglass of Deux Ex Machina, blown out of proportion and filled with a hundred kilograms of salt, conjures the absurd notion that we have infinite time on our hands to grapple with the crisis of an atmosphere in flux. The large ceiling-hung mobile of Thought and Time, which balances its rotating hourglasses against a large white brain, suggest thought and time fighting for equilibrium in an ocean of air.

Bigert & Bergström: The Drought, 2013. Exhibition catalogue.

 

"Deus Ex Machina," 2013. Stainless steel, slat, compressor, vacuum system, acrylic glass, 190 x 90 x 90 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"Salt Pan Crystal IV," 2013. UV-printed photos on laser-cut acrylic, silicon, 35 x 70 x 35 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Illustration by Johan Mets
"Thought and Time," 2013. Hour glasses, stainless steel, electric motors, timers, 350 x 400 x 400 cm. Photo: Mija Renström
"Reverse Osmosis Plant," 2013. UV-printed photo on vinyl foil, acrylic spheres, LED bulbs, 88 x 140 x 100 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"Reverse Osmosis Plant," detail. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"Salt Sea Haze," 2013. UV-printed photo on three-layer glass and aluminium, 100 x 70 x 6 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"No Mild Rain," 2013. UV-printed photo on three-layer glass and aluminum, 100 x 70 x 6 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"Salt Life Tooth Time," 2013. UV-printed photo on three-layer glass and aluminium, 160 x 100 x 6 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
"Salt Beach No Wind," 2013. UV-printed photo on three-layer glass and aluminium, 160 x 100 x 6 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Installation view of "The Drought," 2013. Belenius Gallery Stockholm. Photo: Gustav Hallmér

PROCESS PHOTOS

Photos: Studio Bigert & Bergström