Troubled Water

04.12 - 14.02.2016
Curated by: Magdalena Lewoc, Marlena Chybowska-Butler, Emmanuel d'Autreppe, Alain Delaunois

Troubled Water. From Aesthetics to the Global Economy

The 10th Baltic Contemporary Art Biennial focuses on the cultural, philosophical, economic and ecological aspects of the sea.

At least since the age of Romanticism, inherent qualities of mystery and horror have helped made the ocean a transcendent symbol in the canonical topos influencing the European imagination. Artistic presentation, often metaphysical and melancholic, makes it possible to trace these semantic meanings and cultural entanglements.

From the pragmatic approaches taken in the 17th and 18th centuries that portrayed the sea chiefly as a medium for developing trade and military conquest, today’s artistic treatment depicts the sea as ensuring the continuity of consumption on a global scale. As such, the sublime associations that provided the foundation for phantasmagoric content have given over to practical consideration of the effects of exploitation.

There is little mystery in the destructive consequences, with awareness of the environmental horrors creating a political consciousness that is changing artistic perception, experience and presentation. As a result, the trend in contemporary art locates the sea less as an inspirational source of the transcendent and more as economic expansion’s disconcerting testament.

The goal of the 10th Baltic Biennial is to examine these artistic paradigms through the presentation of works that juxtapose traditional, contemplative aesthetics with the current, critical analysis of the ecological hazards resulting from globalization.


Organizers: Mare Articum Foundation, National Museum in Szczecin, Art Academy in Szczecin, Centre Wallon d’Art Contemporain "La Chataigneraie," Flémalle, Wallonie-Bruxelles International/ Representation in Warsaw, 13muz Culture Institution, Art Academy in Szczecin


Honorary Patronage: Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Délégué Wallonie-Bruxelles à Varsovie, Marshall of the Western-Pomeranian Voivideship, President of Szczecin City


The 10th Biennial is co-financed by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Western-Pomeranian Voiviodeship, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, Délégation Wallonie-Bruxelles à Varsovie and the City of Szczecin.

Baltic Contemporary Art Biennial in Szczecin is realized within the MARE ARTICUM Program, and its tenth edition was co-organized by Centre Wallon d’Art Contemporain „La Châtaigneraie,” Belgium (Wallonia-Brussels).