"When the Sea Looks Back (A Serpent’s Tale)"

VAA Nida Art Colony’s exhibition “When the Sea Looks Back (A Serpent’s Tale)” will re-surface in Berlin

After an iteration at VAA Nida Art Colony this summer, the group exhibition “When the Sea Looks Back (A Serpent’s Tale)” moves to Berlin. The show will re-surface at the interdisciplinary art space District Berlin, run by the exhibition’s curators The Many Headed Hydra. The collective was founded by the artist Emma Haugh and the curator Suza Husse. The exhibition will be supplemented by new artists and their exclusive works. The programme will include readings, performances and workshops, and will be held between 19th of October, the opening day, and 16th of December 2017.


Virgilijus Šonta, Black Hill, silver gelatin print on resin coated paper, 30.5 × 42.5 cm, 1985

The show in Nida has been visited by more than two thousand visitors, and engaged the sea and intercultural mythology, merging them with contemporary issues. For Part 2 at District Berlin the body of the project – from Almagul Menlibayevas interspecies myth makings in the Aralkum desert landscape of ecological trauma to the artistic reponses by Cooltūristės and Bryndis Björnsdottír to the reptile-human and human-tree shape-shifting in Eglė Queen of the Grass Snakes and the tale’s historical relation to migration and nationalized culture, from the afrofuturist flickering of sea, skin and gaze in the abstractions of a body becoming landscape becoming mirror in the work of Sondra Perry to the queer photography created in Nida in the 1970s and 80s by Virgilius Sonta – travels and grows several new heads to speak from the belly of the Hydra to the Berlin context.


When the Sea Looks Back (A Serpent’s Tale), exhibition view, VAA Nida Art Colony, Neringa, Lithuania, 2017.  Photo by Emma Haugh

The exhibition, evocations and radio magazine at District include new commissions and contributions from Caspar Jade Heinemann, Sonja Gerdes, Ashkan Sepahvand, Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor and Anti*Preuss. The exhibition and program opens with the launch of Hydra Magazine #02, an affair in fragments and sound assembled around an experimental radio magazine on cassette tape developed in response to the project by Golden Disko Ship. The radio magazine that was first broadcasted at the local radio station Neringa FM from Nida Art Colony will be performed as a live concert by Golden Disko Ship for the opening at District.


Bryndís Björnsdóttir​, Landráð II: Unearthing, performance, Neringa, Lithuania, 2017. Photo by Emma Haugh

The programme of the events:

19th of October

6 pm : Exhibition Opening
7 pm : Pumicestone Reading by Caspar Heineman
8 pm : After The Aral Sea: Diasporic Dreamscapes in the work of Almagul Menlibayeva Conversation with Ulrike Gerhardt and Almagul Menlibayeva 
9 pm : When The Sea Looks Back. A Serpent’s Tale – Live Radio Show Concert Performance by Golden Diskó Ship and Launch of The Many Headed Hydra Magazine #02

18th of November

4 pm : Landráð II: Unearthing Performance by Bryndís Björnsdóttir 

6th of December

5 – 9 pm : Workshop. Anti*Preuß tellings, readings and queerings assembled by The Many Headed Hydra and Joerg Franzbecker (For 10 participants – please register at press@district-berlin.com until 30.11.)  

14th of December

6 – 10 pm : Video premiere. My Mother’s Land / Müttererde multi-voice video project by Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor in collaboration with Astrid Gleichmann featuring Camalo Gaskin, Tobi Ayedadjou, Niv Acosta, Natalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro, Margaux Coker and Fannie Sosa.


The exhibition is open for visitors from Wednesday to Saturday from 3pm to 7pm at District Berlin (Bessemerstraße 2-14, 12103 Berlin) on 20th of October – 16th of December 2017


Image from Almagul Menlibayeva, Transoxiana Dreams, HD single channel video projection, colour, sound, 23 min, 2011. Courtesy AEAALLC


Cooltūristės, Mis(s)appropriation. Eglė the Queen of Grass Snakes, installation, mixed media, 2017. Photo by Emma Haugh