For my current projects see: SIMPLETOWN WORX

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

nine on seven presents DMZ 2km recent works by Virginia Overell



nine on seven
Rooftop Bar
Level 7 Curtain House

DMZ 2km Spring Water. Bottled ‘near’ the source. Korea’s Demilitarized Zone is now a rumoured oasis. Scattered with landmines and heavily fortified it has been untouched by humans since 1953. Some claim the small stretch of land is now home 2900 plant species/ 70 mammals/ 320 types of birds. Lotte has made a deal with South Korea’s military to start bottling spring water from a source that lies 2km within the DMZ and instead of the usual associations of danger and animosity the water is selling the ideas of purity, cleanliness and the unspoiled. Water from the wild.

The articles I read all featured the same image, a man in a white lab coat holding 2 bottles of ‘DMZ 2km’. On Flickr I found an image taken on the desk of 7/11, a mat advertising the water. A lush, green hillside, a deer drinking from a lake and in the foreground a stretch of barbed wire, ensuring the water is protected, kept out of reach of the impure touch of human hands. A constructed wilderness of our concept of wilderness.

On an island in the Arctic Svalbard Archipelago, built into the mountainside, under snow, under ground, is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. 130 metres above sea level, safe from the melting ice-caps. The complex is cooled by the surrounding permafrost. It houses 250 million individual seeds. White lab coats, clear plastic jars, repeating. Pristine/clean. Silver zip lock parcels in pale pine boxes. The “Doomsday Vault”, a concrete structure filled with seeds to replant, replenish, nourish.

Plastic, wood / barbed wire, deer. Going ‘wild’. Desire for the ‘pure’, the ‘untouched’, pristine, isolated, clean. Permafrost, cold soil, white snow. Untouched/uncompromised by man. Pristine / clean. Pure, pure, pure. Guarded, purity, security. Scientists in lab coats storing seeds, testing water, proving spotlessness, wholesomeness. Hard water, soft water, shampoo, natural oils, active, replenish, nourish, activate, revitalize, go wild, shower outside.

Virginia Overell, 2010

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