Trembling in Every Direction

18 March 2022 - 24 April 2022

GROUP EXHIBITIONS Nina Kuttler & Natasha Tontey CURATOR Jing Yi Teo
SANATORIUM presents Trembling in Every Direction, a duo exhibition featuring works of Nina Kuttler and Natasha Tontey between March 18, 2022 – April 24, 2022. Curated by Jing Yi Teo, the exhibition explores the plurality of approaches towards technology through the non-human embodiment of knowledge in anthropocentric environments. Trembling in Every Direction references the work of Édouard Glissant, a Martinican writer and philosopher who proposed “tremblement”, or “trembling thinking” as an instinct to refuse categories imposed by imperial thought and systems of terror, by embracing the inextricability of ourselves from the world; a call to tremble along with it. With fiction as a method of speculative thinking at the core of both artists’ practices, the exhibition proposes a practice of approaching technologies based on artifacts, anecdotes and archives that entwine history with the fictive in various pathways of knowledge production. Researched and speculated in North Sulawesi, Indonesia where it was once believed that the first human was a woman and gave birth through a stone, Natasha Tontey’s The Epoch of Mapalucene and Wa'anak Witu Watu investigate the fiction, myth, and cosmology of the Minahasan and their relation to stone, a geo-entity.The indigenous practice of the Minahasa tribe – where humans celebrate their form of communication with stone – is understood only as a pre-institutionalised religious practice and categorised as animist belief. Yet to the Minahasan, they are practicing monotheism. Tontey’s experience as a pilgrim to her ancestral roots is captured in fragmented footage interwoven with 3D animation and nonsense poetry. Mappings of a Speculative Geographic Period in which communities are organised in a post-capitalist care-based economy, distributed in infinite copies for Trembling in Every Direction, were sketched by Tontey as an artifact of her own research. The works of Nina Kuttler project onto a wider geology: the underwater and space. The Loudest Animal is a soundscape of a synthetic ecology where human and non-human entities coexist. In the soundscape, the pistol shrimp features as the protagonist, whose snapping noise, produced as colonies, is so loud that it disrupts the ability of submarines to communicate and see, while also serving as an indicator for the health of coral reefs: more noise equals more life.Recordings of the underwater and the snapping sounds of pistol shrimps are replaced and mixed with digitally created sounds that only evoke an idea of an environment; the swarm of voices presents a collective intelligence and awareness of their own environment, its rhythms, violence and evolution. “A Ship to Sink Another Ship” was the name given by Leonardo Da Vinci to the idea of a sub-marine war ship. While his were the first sketches drawn of submarines, they’re understood to be incapable of submerging underwater looking at the designs with today’s knowledge. Kuttler’s neon sculptures in the exhibition were constructed after early ideas and drawings of submarines that came after Da Vinci’s: by Denis Papins, 1690; Nautilus by Robert Fulton, 1800; and Argonaut by Simon Lake, 1897. The human urge to expand to unknown places is also in focus with the clay sculptures hand-modeled after Ultima Thule, the furthest object in space ever photographed by a space probe. A re-interpretation of an object that exists only through the interpretation of a satellite, they represent a curiosity towards a deep future in which distance and time are ungraspable concepts to humankind.