The land holds all that we experience. Announcing Waters of a Lower Register by Allison Janae Hamilton
December 7th, 2020
Creative Time is pleased to present Waters of a Lower Register, an immersive 5-channel film installation by artist Allison Janae Hamilton that will be on view daily from December 16 – 20, 2020 from sundown to park close, 4:30pm-1:00am, at Pier 3 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The film features scenes from Hamilton’s native North Florida environment, interspersing swirling landscapes of rivers, rain, forests and swamps with atmospheric sounds, shifting between quiet and frenetic, paradisiacal to tense. Hamilton uses the material of land — and the histories and tensions carried within — as a metaphor to reflect the range of emotions that this tumultuous year has manifested among our society.
“I am thrilled to present this project with Creative Time, an institution with a unique ability to present ambitious projects in a way that is broadly accessible to public audiences,” said Allison Janae Hamilton. “This project resonates emotionally with the present moment, and speaks toward the longstanding economic, social, and geographic structures that undergird the experiences of our contemporary reality.”
Situated in Pier 3 of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Waters of a Lower Register embeds into the expanse of the horizon line of the East River, mingling contrasting but interrelated natural sightlines together. Shot in part in the aftermath of a tropical storm, the installation gestures towards the complex environmental issues and social histories of the Brooklyn waterfront, an ecological red zone under threat of rising sea levels and increasingly catastrophic weather patterns. Standing in this juncture, once the start to a Lenape walking trail leading east, it is impossible to ignore the impact of the devastating diseases — smallpox, measles, yellow fever, cholera, and now COVID-19 — that were introduced to these shores and ran rampant in the density of urban life. With Waters of a Lower Register, Hamilton invites viewers to both reflect and relate to the narrative nature reveals as it mirrors back all that it witnesses.
The thirteen-minute video installation will be projected on loop on five screens in the park, and will be free and open to the public for the duration of the project’s run. Arranged in an arc, the piece will be situated in comparison to the density of the urban environment; at times the content flows from one screen to another, at other times each screen exists as its own moment in the arc.
“Allison Janae Hamilton’s Waters of a Lower Register serves as a meditation on the ebbs and flows of human existence,” said Creative Time Executive Director Justine Ludwig. “It is a reflection on our national and global interconnectedness, and our diversity, both ecologically and ideologically. This transportative work is simultaneously a beautiful escape from, and powerful rumination on, the realities and ramification of this profoundly challenging year.”
An artist conversation between Allison Janae Hamilton and Joan Morgan, the Director of the Center for Black Visual Culture at the NYU Institute of African American Affairs around the poetics of Hamilton’s investigatory practice and this new public artwork will take place online on December 17th at 12:00pm.