The video installation runs from September 4-October 8.

Sarah Cameron Sunde in a previous performance piece for '36.5'
Sarah Cameron Sunde in '36.5'

The Gallatin Galleries will exhibit a video installation from time-based artist and director Sarah Cameron Sunde beginning September 4, 2020. The exhibit, titled Performing with the Sea: North Sea, Bay of Bengal, Bay of All Saints, Bodo Inlet, comes from Sunde’s larger project 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Seat in which she immerses herself in bodies of water around the world to await the tide.

Sunde created 36.5 in order to call attention to “the metaphor of inundation,” something she witnessed when Hurricane Sandy flooded parts of New York in 2012. Before each performance, she works with the local community and partners with local arts organizations, local filmmakers, and individuals, asking them, “What is your relationship to the sea?” Their responses help determine where she stands, how the installation on the shore looks, as well as the interventions of local artists and musicians—all the elements that make up the work.

Since her original performance in Maine in 2013, she has completed seven additional performances in places including Kenya, Bangladesh, Brazil, the Netherlands, and San Francisco. Video installations from four of those performances will be featured at the Gallatin Galleries: North Sea, Bay of Bengal, Bay of All Saints, and Bodo Inlet.

Gallatin Galleries curator Keith Miller says, “36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea is a work whose simplicity is its strength. A woman walks into the sea, at low tide, standing silently as the waters rise. It is the quiet that resists the noise, a body engaging with the elements, a person and a community creating a call to action.”

The videos will be displayed in Gallatin Galleries’ windows, which face Washington Place, so passers-by can stop to pay witness. “Sunde’s 12- to 13-hour performances and videos slow down time, an experience that is central to the work,” says Miller. “Viewers could scan the video, observe a woman waist- or neck-deep in water, somewhere, and move on. But this would be an abbreviation and antithesis of an experience. By letting the work sink in and transform, we are changed.”

In addition to the installation, Gallatin Galleries will host a virtual panel discussion on September 5 with international collaborators from around the world. Moderated by Sunde and NYU professor Una Chaudhuri, it includes additional NYU faculty Lori Cole, Elaine Gan, Nadja Millner-Larsen, Robin Nagle, Mauricio Salgado, Sonia Werner, as well as students.

An additional conversation with the artist will be held on September 29 from 2-3:15 p.m. in which Eugenia Kisin, will discuss the Anthropocene, water, kinship, and art. For more information, please visit Gallatin Galleries' website.

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