Untitled Monochrome

Artist: Erik Steinbrecher
installation | 2014

The work Untitled Monochrome consists of a 1000-liter tank, filled with water and large amounts of salt: Mediterranean salt, black salt from Crimea, Atlantic salt, tropical salt, Indian salt and many more besides. Mixed with water to create a saline solution, the receptacle now contains a surrogate “global ocean”. But it is leaking: water is slowly seeping out, transforming the museum floor into a monochrome seascape. Steinbrecher refers here to traditions in painting, specifically Yves Klein, but of greater importance is the work’s play on scale, its relationship between what is present and what is absent, and of what is seen and what must be imagined. Similarly, the work evokes the ocean’s qualities of embracing concepts that exceed even our mind’s eye: a setting for unimagined possibilities and a medium of modernity, the global seascape is as fundamental in literature as it is to economic reality. Steinbrecher’s work presents the vast expanse of oceans as a metaphor for unstable grounds, liquefaction and the inescapable instability that is intrinsic to the age of modernity.


The 10th Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory | 2014.11.23 - 2015.03.31 | Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum(Shanghai, China)