Sinking Feeling at Or Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

Antonia Wright, And so with ends comes beginnings (still), 2019, single-channel video with sound, 4:30 min, looped

Sinking Feeling

Eddie Arroyo, Claudio Nolasco, Jamilah Sabur, Erin Thurlow & Antonia Wright

Curated by: Heather Diack

In synch with rising sea-levels artists are increasingly attuned to the sinking feeling of climate catastrophe. For the many millions of people who live in dense coastal cities like Mumbai, Amsterdam, São Paulo, Venice, New York, Guangzhou, and Vancouver, water occupies a paradoxical status—at once a means of survival and a source of potential demise.

In this respect, Miami, with all its extremes and idiosyncrasies, is a harbinger for coastal cities worldwide. The details may be local, but the implications are global.

Designated within North America as “Ground Zero” for the impending peril it faces from warming waters and flooding, water surrounding the metropolis of Miami is projected to surge two feet in less than forty years. Sinking Feeling includes work by five Miami artists who tap into this ominous pulse, which, in a cynical twist, coincides with being designated as the most unaffordable city in the United States. This gateway to the Caribbean and Latin America, popularly dubbed the “Magic City,” is pitched as an ever-expanding touristic tropical paradise, incessant skyrises erected, even as the drenching effects of global warming loom.

The poetic and poignant artworks included in this exhibition hone-in on the inseparability of the actualities of the climate crisis from everyday lived realities and formative histories. Parallels to the increasing vulnerabilities of other coastal cities can be gleaned. Combining references to the transformational role water plays in our survival and potential demise, the artworks in Sinking Feeling are as much about immersion and reflection as creating a rising tide of interconnected awareness and environmental justice.