Art: The Ocean After Nature Opening at Samstag Museum of Art

Words by Lucy Regter

As the relationship between Independent Curators International (ICI) New York and Samstag Museum of Art Adelaide continues to blossom, the first instalment of the Adelaide Festival program now resides comfortably at the Samstag. Titled The Ocean After Nature, the exhibit encompasses 16 international artists who's work spans from audio, drawing, video and photography.

The opening night for the exhibit was a warm Thursday evening, drawing a colourful crowd with live music from a playlist of works by the international DJ collective (and The Ocean After Nature exhibiting artists) Drexciya, remixed by Sebastian Vivian. The scale and rhythm of these playlists serving as a metaphor for the nature of the ocean itself; expansive and unpredictable.

Inside the museum lit with a giant sphere made of 300 oars ("Someone Else's Problem" by Alex Seton), the range of works vary greatly in medium and scale. Each instalment looks at the concept of human impact on the natural world, and more specifically, the ocean. Especially at a time when we are leaving increasing and sometimes irreversible damage, the aim of this exhibition is to draw attention to our actions and ask how and why we treat our world as such.

From a massive (and confronting) visual of a whale being cleaned (Fiona Tan), to a "Sweet" Ocean Reef structure made on a bed of sugar (Ken + Julia Yonetani), you'll find 16 unique stories grappling a sombre and challenging concept. The art asks a whole lot of questions, but doesn't attempt to provide all the answers, leaving the viewer to reflect internally.