This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

20Oct/15

TERESA DIEHL: BREATHING WATERS

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Site-specific installation immerses visitors in a fantasy world of water (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

NO LONGER EMPTY
117 Beekman Pl.
Daily through October 25, free, 12 noon - 7:00 pm
Free performance October 25, 4:00 - 6:00
www.nolongerempty.org
breathing waters slideshow

Miami-based artist Teresa Diehl emphasizes humanity’s intrinsic relationship with water in her immersive installation “Breathing Waters.” Diehl, who was born in Lebanon and raised in Venezuela, incorporates sound and video into a mazelike path of walls and hanging screens made of monofilament onto which drops of resin have been added, resembling dripping water or even tears. Diehl quotes from “The Paradox of the Nature of Water” in the Tao Te Ching, evoking awe at the power of water: “Nothing is weaker than water / But when it attacks something hard / Or resistant, then nothing withstands it, / And nothing will alter its way.” As you wind through the room, motion sensors trigger sound effects that add to the playful magic and mystery of it all, and the site-specific work directly references the South Street Seaport area, where the Hudson and East Rivers come together. Diehl, whose “L-Aber-Into” was part of No Longer Empty’s “When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out” group show at the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse this past spring, also references a quote from Ishmael in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick: “Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries — stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever.” Make sure that the door in the back is closed so you get the full meditative effect of “Breathing Waters,” which Diehl sees as a healing refuge, especially in the crowded, fast-paced Seaport District. On October 25 at 4:00, closing day, members of Areytos Performance Works will dance through the “Breathing Waters” labyrinth, inspired by Yemayá, the orisha of motherhood and the queen of the sea.

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