Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The underwater archive of lost dreams

British-born sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor creates cities and societies under the sea. His art is compelling, though you may need a scuba outfit to see all of it.

I am especially stirred by his installation titled El Collectionista de los Sueños Perdidos (literally, "The Collector of Lost Dreams")

In the words of the artist: "The Archive of Lost Dreams depicts an underwater archive, maintained by a male registrar. The archive is a collection of hundreds of messages in bottles brought together by the natural forces of the ocean. The registrar is collating the individual bottles and categorising the contents according to the nature of each message - fear, hope, loss, or belonging.

"Various communities from a broad spectrum of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds have been invited to provide the messages, which, it is hoped, will document current values and aspirations for future generations to discover."

Taylor's installation matches the sense we dreamers often have, surfacing from the deeps of the night, of having left treasures and messages behind, and may inspire us to go diving again, beneath the shallows of ordinary consciousness, in quest of them

For more on Jason deCaires Taylor and his underwater sculptures, visit his websiteionista de los Sueños Perdidos


Worldbridger said...

Most of the time I find artistic 'installations' pretentious but though I am unlikely to see this one, I think this artist has really come up with something most profound. Thanks for posting the pictures and explanation Robert!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating! After reading your post I went out to the artist's website and was startled --- just last night, I was dreaming of visiting an underwater city with my sister. We were floating among the village, meeting people who were living underwater naturally (no scuba apparatus and yet not drowning).

(Funny thing is, I have no diving experience and no real desire to try it out.)

Louisa said...

"Most installations are pretentious nonsense, but I actually like this one," - so I thought in dream last Friday while surveying an installation created by a former colleague for a charitable or environmental cause. The installation told a story of a nearby area through a series of panels with drawings and writings affixed to a fence that ran along a footpath. It was carefully and lovingly crafted and was a joy to look at. In waking life this ex-colleague swears that she has no artistic ability at all, but it was a lovely dream in vibrant color and extra-sharp focus. No sharp focus underwater, but I like these installations too! Thank you, Robert.

Irène said...

What a wonderful post! Just looking at the picture and reading the title inspires me to go to my own underwater archive of lost dreams. And I would also like to know what the big dreams, perhaps lost dreams, of my parents' and grandparents were. I have a collegue that I judge rather harshly. I usually try to avoid her until recently she showed up in one of my dreams. She was just following me around and so I asked her what she was doing and she replied, "I've lost my dream and thought you could help me." I was planning on helping her but not really sure how. Now I know. Thanks, Robert.

Robert Moss said...

Irène - Our dreams sometimes show us more of a person than we have recognized in waking consciousness. I love your example. If this were my dream, it would make me alert to the possibility of helping that person to find her lost dream, or at least to avoid judging her too harshly until she accomplishes that. Of course, the person we are most likely to learn more about in dreams is....ourself.

Jane Carleton said...

Hi Robert, I've spent a lot of time in the water this week in Thailand and this is especially interesting to me. I've been swimming among galloping seahorses and languid painted clams, a lion fish standing guard to an underwater chamber, multicolored fish circling me in welcome, and a host of cuttlefish exploding in ink at the slightest provocation, all dreaming an underwater dream that is eternal, or is it? The sea community mourns the loss last spring of the living coral, killed by water that became too hot; global warming took its toll on reefs thousands of years old and all here feel the loss, above and below the water. Dream a healing dream for the Andaman Sea.