2.04 - 11.04.2021 
Laurel Project Space, Amsterdam

With works by Sophie Utikal, Anto López Espinosa, Kristina Õllek, Sara Milio, Enar de Dios Rodriguez, Baratto & Mouravas

Public programme by Isadora Tomasi & JaJaJa NeeNeeNee, CAO aka Constanza Bizraelli & Reading with friends (of friends)

Them, the oceans, bodies, lovers, rivers, voices, sexualities, and us, “ourselves [the] sea, sand, coral, seaweed, beaches, tides, swimmers, children, waves".

Borrowing its title from Hélène Cixous' essay The Laugh of the Medusa (1976), the group show attempts to discuss the notion of agency and its capacity to resonate through entangled relationships.
In response to the context where Laurel is situated – a polder reclaimed in the 17th century to facilitate the “Buitenplaats” of the wealthy Dutch merchants – 'Our Seas Are What We Make of Them' thinks alongside the importance of water in the colonial history of the area.
It gathers differently-situated artists to poetically reclaim the narratives of the sea as an abstract notion that serves to support the male-centred historical references. We think of the early neoliberal 16th century “Mare Liberum” that considered the ocean an inexhaustible resource and transformed it into a commodity to serve the purpose of extraction and accumulation, the imperialistic “Mare Nostrum” claiming the sea as a territory of the Roman Empire, and the latest homonymous Frontex fatal border operation.

The exhibition uses the voice and the water as a platform and methodology respectively to highlight its composing elements. It wishes to become a vessel, a stage and amplifier of the voices discussing women’s agency, embodied oceanic thinking while blending ancient cosmologies, myths and marine ecologies.

With support from the Gemeente Amsterdam, Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, Goethe-Institut Niederlande, Estonian Embassy in the Hague, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, San Serriffe.

Press: NRC, Echo Gone Wrong, Metropolis M