19 February--27 February 2010


Oetewalerstraat 73
1093 MD Amsterdam
The Netherlands



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This work uses sculpture, sound and music to explore the nature of water as both nurturer and destroyer. The environment is created with wall reliefs in two side rooms, a water sculpture in the central room, and eight-channel surround sound throughout the space. The water sculpture uses bubbling colored water and movement synchronized with the musical texture. The music embraces numerous sources from ancient Chinese melodies to electronic music to natural water sounds.


Their approach continues from their show riverrun (2008) in New York inspired by a 17th century Chinese treatise, the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting which says, 'See how water strikes the mountain and pierces the rocks; it has supernatural strength, nothing is stronger.' Their 2009 show in the UK , Ten thousand currents, was inspired by similar ideas. For Watermusic they consider the extraordinary way water is both a giver and a destroyer.

 Dydo and Haire have been developing installations focusing on water for more than three years. Regarding the issues raised by the present exhibition, they say : “Our awareness of the dual nature of water as nurturer and destroyer has been dramatically heightened in recent years for two reasons. First of all, energy consumption of the industrialized world is melting the polar ice caps which will eventually cause the flooding of many of the world’s coastal areas. Secondly, the expanding world population has put unforeseen and severe strains on our ecosystem. At the same time, population growth has contributed significantly to growing global desertification. So once bountiful areas are now unable to sustain their current populations and growth continues. Our continuing involvement with the awesome beauty and overwhelming power of water has brought us to a deep concern with these problems.”


One of the wall reliefs, Desertmusic, is made from 800 pages of old sheet music, unwanted leftovers from an almost dead culture of chamber music performance in the home. It has been replaced by television and revolutions in music and electronics, which are available to people all over the globe. Like the new technologies we are finding to alleviate the world’s water problems, we have to give up some cherished concepts and look forward thoughtfully and compassionately to what will replace them.