Martina Amati Under
Installation views at Amibka P3 Spetember 25 - October 11, 2015
Under brings the experience of free-diving into an urban landscape. Above all, Under gives viewers the sensation of being submerged as they gaze up at a massive screen just above their heads showing footage of free-divers in gravity-free grace hovering in an infinite expanse of blue water.
Amati captures herself and other freedivers women, in three films, performing beneath the water’s surface. With freediving cinematographer Daan Verhoeven, She films each underwater performances on a single breath of air. In Under these are projected onto large-scale screens evoking the experience of being suspended in time and space, submerged beneath the surface.
Each film reflecting one of the three elements through which freediving can be measured: Time, Distance and Depth. The different films unfold simultaneously on each screen and the action is linked from screen to screen. The concepts of depth, distance and time are enhanced in the installation by the sculptural nature of the screens.
Screen 1 (showing film: Depth)
The centrepiece of the installation is a huge screen hanging from the ceiling horizontally. Floating above people’s head like a replication of a freediving platform, the platform on the water surface from which freedivers commence their dives into the depths. The screen is supported by freediving ropes: the fluorescent lines that lead freedivers during their plunge into the darkness of the ocean. Featuring performances by Amati, champion Liv Philip and a -100m no-limits dive by Maria Felicia Carraturo.
Screen 2 (showing film: Distance)
A large screen spanning floor to ceiling presents horizontal framings of the sea from below the surface. The images are upside-down taking the audience into the infinite and gravity-free underwater realm. Featuring performances by Amati, Liv Philip and Alice Cattaneo.
Screen 3 (showing film: Time)
A smaller projection hanging from the ceiling presents static views of the performers crystallised completely still in extended breath-holds. Featuring Amati, Liv Philip and Static British Champion Georgina Miller.
The soundtrack is composed by Icelandic talent and Amati’s long time collaborator, Gunnlaug Thorvaldsdottir. Created entirely with water and ice recordings, acoustic instruments and hunting vocals, the sound transports the audience into the underwater sphere, toward an introspective experience of noises and stillness.
On the reverse side of Screen 3, a documentary, that Amati developed with Professor Kevin Fong, co-director of the Centre for Altitude, Space and Extreme Environment, explores the physiological effects of freediving on the human body. Inclusive of interviews with scientists and the world’s pioneers of freediving, the scientific film is muffled up in an intimate travel log of Amati’s exploration into this world. Featuring a rare, extensive interview with Enzo Maiorca, the first man to reach the -50m depth in the sea.