Artist: Adam Ulbert
Exhibition title: Thalassa I. / subliminal intruder
Venue: Karlin Studios, Prague, The Czech Republic
Date: August 11 – September 10, 2017
Photography: Tomáš Souček, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Karlin Studios
“These are the oldest memories on Earth, the time-codes carried in every chromosome and gene. Every step we’ve taken in our evolution is a milestone inscribed with organic memories – from enzymes controlling the carbon dioxide cycle to the organization of the brachial plexus and nerve pathways of the Pyramid cells in the mid-brain, each is a record of a thousand decisions taken in the face of a sudden physico-chemical crisis. Just as a psychoanalysis reconstructs the original traumatic situation in order to release the repressed material, so we are now being plunged back into the archeo-psychic past, uncovering ancient taboos and drives that have been dormant for epochs. The brief span of an individual life is misleading. Each one of us is as old as the entire biological kingdom, and our bloodstreams are tributaries of the great sea of its total memory. The uterine odyssey of the growing foetus recapitulates the entire evolutionary past, and its central nervous system is a coded time scale, each nexus of neurons and each spinal level marking a symbolic station, a unit of neuronic time.”
Adam Ulbert studied Film Theory, Cultural Anthropology and Art in Budapest and Amsterdam. He is currently resident at Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. His ongoing series Thalassa follows a certain psycho-evolutionary logic. This first part (subliminal intruder) of the series is based loosely on three references: the book The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard, the early psychoanalytical theory of Sandor Ferenczi Thalassa: A Theory Of Genitality and the symbiotic relationship between the pearl fish and the sea cucumber. The assembled pieces consist of paintings, sculptures and a video will create a platform for cross-fertilised dialog between seemingly different realms. Following a specific line of thoughts the artists intents to point out formal and existential similarities between objects, entities and thoughts. In this semi-fictional realm natural and cultural inner and outer bodies are in a mutually mutative interaction creating a sort of an origin fable.