Armin Linke, OCEANS. Dialogues between ocean floor and water column, 2017, four-channel video installation, color, sound, 40 minutes. Installation view. Photo: Giulia Bruno.

Armin Linke

Istituto di Scienze Marine

In Venice, images of exotic monsters and hybrid animals abound. Among them is the city’s emblem, the winged Lion of Saint Mark with its open Bible, the mythical figure that is embossed into the facade of the Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR). Inside, in a much drier register, was Armin Linke’s exhibition “Prospecting Ocean,” featuring videos and photographs that often depicted the alien machinery clawing at the floor of the sea. These extractionist robots from developed countries threaten fragile local economies such as that of Papua New Guinea, bringing metaphorical monsters closer than ever to Venetian shores. Venice, whose expansionist sinews once stretched across Europe and Asia, provided a fitting context for Linke’s exhibition, which posited that, from a legal point of view, the oceans, far from unified, are complexly demarcated and scored with dotted lines. This monumental show

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