Atmospheres of Breathing, 2020-2021

Upon entering the room installation Atmospheres of Breathing (2020) by Anne Duk Hee Jordan, you might feel a calming effect running through your body. A strange machine consisting of six blue inhaling balloons is attached to a reclining chair with an air mattress where visitors can lie down and immerse into the surrounding breathing environment. The sound of the mechanic breathing machine collides with the otherworldly sounds of a robotic Singing Saw (2018) and a minimal composed score that belongs to the video Staying with the Trouble (2019) projected on two walls, embracing the installation and putting the viewer within an ecosystem of macro video material of monarch butterfly cocoons, amphibians, bacteria, mushrooms, cannibalism, and further animate inhalation into the life of fascinating species. Don’t Panic (2020) is the title of the breathing machine, which exerts the 4-7-8 breathing technique, a breathing pattern based on an ancient yogic technique called pranayama, which helps practitioners gain control over their breathing. It is used as a method against anxiety attacks, or fear of death, and guides the body back into a state of balance and relaxation by regulating the fight-or-flight response we feel when we’re stressed. There are other alienated creatures inside the installation: a box or shame-faced crab titled I Am So Ashamed (2020), 3D printed from organic material and exhaling soap bubbles. The term ’shame-faced’ stems from anthropomorphising the way the crab's claws fold up and cover its face, as if it were hiding its face in shame. There is also a sea cucumber sculpture with an inflatable sphere, like an air capsule. Sea cucumbers are potentially immortal beings, infinite as they always regenerate themselves. Jordan sculpted an aerodynamic plaster work coated with tadelakt and wax that was repeatedly applied and removed. The inflatable sphere is synchronized with the breathing machine and the air mattress. When the air balloons exhale, the mattress inhales, which mimics the process of exchanging oxygen in the ecosphere between plants and other living organisms. In the immersive room installation Atmospheres of Breathing (2020), she probed how to make the core function of breathing perceivable. The work presents itself as a complex system, characterized by a range of life forms, animated immaterial beings and video technologies. Her constructed organisms not only combine sculptural, biological and technological elements, they also produce a changing environment, in which humans and non-humans evolve and grow. The only certainty is that we live and breath in continuous change, as we are subjected to a state of constant flux. What will happen a hundred years from now cannot be known. Anne Duk Hee Jordan is not only a visual artist, but also a professional apnoea and rescue diver. She survived the tsunami in 2005 in Thailand while out in the sea diving and rescued a whole crew of divers, knowing how to survive in moments of disaster. This understanding of essential correlations between survival, living ecosystems and control of breathing inspired her to make the work Atmospheres of Breathing. She wondered at the human capacity for calm in calamity and what new, different creatures we might become when the world stops breathing. 1. Staying with the Trouble (2019) is a video work by Anne Duk Hee Jordan inspired by the essay The Camille Stories: Children of Compost of the book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016) by Donna Haraway. 2.Referring to the writing of James Lovelock, Novacene: The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence (2019).

Exhibition for Transmediale, For Refusal, 2021 at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien Exhibition for the Böttcherstraße Prize Bremen 2020 at Kunsthalle Bremen nominated by Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Curated by Mara-Lisa Kinne Works: Video: Staying With the Trouble, 2019, 10:54 min Don’t Panic, 2020, Mixed Media Singing Saw, 2018, Motors, Saw I Am So Ashamed, 2020, PLA 3D Filament Sea Cucumber, 2020, Gips, LEDs, Tadelakt, Glätteseife, Punisches Wachs, Kaliwasserglas Exhibition Layout: Andrea Macias-Yañez Text: Pauline Doutreluingne Photo Credit: (Transmediale) Luca Girardini (Transmediale) Marcus Meyer (Böttcherstraße Prize Bremen)