Hauling, on land and in the sea. Exploring limits and bypassing any respect for them, while stringing our catch into a growing story.
So reads the introduction to Haveit Neox’s latest installation The Haul, which opened on February 5th, 2017 at MetaLES, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar. It’s an interesting description, offering just enough to pique the curiosity and point the imagination in a certain direction, without laying bare the artist’s intent or hope.
Occupying the region’s sea level – loftier reaches being occupied by Chimkami’s Illogism (which you can read about here), The Haul offers an enigmatic setting which is both familiar and other-worldly. Teleporting from the MetaLES landing point, visitors arrive on the deck of a vessel, one of three in fact, although it appears to have collided with one of its sister ships. All are deserted, delicate sails unfettered by rigging, silent roll outwards from heavy masts, caught in a gentle breeze.
Above these ships are four giant objects, looking like some otherworldly jelly fish floating serenely in the currents of the air. Three of these drop chain-like lines or tentacles down into the sea, but the largest trails an intricate filigree of lines and webbing from its rim, in which are caught fish and other creatures. Look up inside this great jelly fish of the sky, and you will see this web of tentacles is in fact nets, the catch within them being hauled aloft by figures poised on spheres within the great dome.
Nor is this all. Follow the lines of the smaller “jelly fish” down below the waves and you will find them drifting over ruins encrusted in coral – some are even holding the upturned form of an encased car. The ruins are arranged around a central square, the remains of a great hall to one side. In the midst of this former square, delicate, broken spiral of coral rises, its spines and turns resembling a broken strand of DNA.
What are we to make of all of this? The clue seems to rest in Haveit’s description: we explore – or exploit – over land and sea. We take what we want, ignoring limits and showing no respect for the damage our actions may cause, stringing everything into a net of greed and want. Not even the loss of our homes and lifestyles (the flooded ruins a reference to global warming?) can stop us, even as we sow the seeds of our own destruction (which are perhaps embodied in the sleeker, smaller, group of “jellyfish” which seem to be approaching the larger group in an almost predatory manner).
Of course, this is only one interpretation, you my well find your own narrative within the great tableau, and it is Haveit’s ability to put before us some pages from a narrative hidden within our thoughts, as much as his ability to create such beautifully intricate pieces as these, which make him not just an artist, but a master storyteller and a social commentator.
Fascinating, beautiful and challenging, The Haul will remain open through until the end of March 2017.
- The Haul (MetaLES, rated: Moderate)