Broadway is pleased to announce Eltanin the New York solo debut of Brussels-based multi-disciplinary artist Jamilah Sabur.
Centered on a group of silkscreened works in custom-made frames, the exhibition focuses on a group of appropriated archival photographs from a single deep-sea mission aboard the USNS Eltanin in the summer of 1966 in the Southwestern Pacific Basin. In addition, a suite of text paintings derived from the ship’s log—outlining the geological composition of the ocean floor—read like poems and further a sense of the fantastical that permeates the show as a whole.
Taken deep underwater in near total darkness exposed only with the light of the submersible, the found photographs are reproduced on stark colored backgrounds. Occasionally the residue of other prints permeates the fields of color and shadow, creating ruptures in the geometric configurations of the work emphasized by the modular balance and asymmetry of the sculptural frames.
Clusters of manganese nodules carpeting the seabed at the northern slope of the Chatham Rise become Sabur’s central protagonist and formal motif. In re-presenting these images, created in waters of territorial ambiguity to document a prized mineral resource, Sabur further defines her ongoing research into the scientific and governmental paradigms overlaid onto our planet. Namely, how practices of extraction and exploration continue to inform how we speak about and define boundaries and borders and to whom these natural resources belong.