November 9, 2018
Immortality has always been an undeniable presence in all cultural, spiritual, scientific, artistic and vital manifestations of the human being. From Titus to Dracula, from Plato to Faust, from the gods to God, it has never ceased to draw a spiral, without end?
With his project ‘Aurelia immortal’, Javier Viver (Madrid, 1971) now reflects once again on the longed-for and eager search for this immortality based on the observation of a variety of jellyfish, the aurelia aurita, which possesses the unimaginable capacity to regenerate ad infinitum, as demonstrated by a recent scientific investigation carried out in China, collected in an article by marine biologist Jinru He, and published in 2015. In this way, his proposal is framed in a field of friction -and also of fiction- between the field of science and that of artistic creation; territories that often reach similar results starting from different methods.
The project is structured in two well-differentiated blocks. On the one hand, Viver articulates an exhibition programme based on a plural use of expressive mechanisms – photography, drawing, installation, video or sound and photobook. It thus generates a kind of continuum between the exhibition space and the space where the book is created, a set of fractals between macrocosm and microcosm, which thus end up constituting the two halves of the same sphere. This photobook, possibly the most precious and singular piece of this excellent and well-arranged project, is in turn composed of two volumes: a leporello (a book built on an accordion) that photographically shows the life cycle of the jellyfish, with its pages forming a kind of eternal cyclical star – and with the presence of the colour gold in a clear allusion to the alchemical pursuit of immortality – and also a diary, written in 2046, containing drawings, texts and various documents that illustrate the story of a fiction.
In it, we are given news of a future, centred on that date, in which biotechnological conquests have designed a “transhuman” species capable of achieving what is supposedly unattainable: immortal life. In this way, the exhibition project as a whole enters intelligently, and with a certain dose of ironic utopia, into the slippery but pertinent boundary that separates -and at the same time unites- science, art and religion. In other words, in the mouldable and timeless territory of human interests.
Javier Viver (Madrid, 1971) is a sculptor, photographer, designer and photobook editor. D. in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid with the thesis Val del Omar Laboratory (2008), published the same year by Cameo in documentary format.
With his project ‘Aurelia immortal’, Javier Viver (Madrid, 1971) now reflects once again on the eagerly awaited search for this immortality based on the observation of a variety of jellyfish, the aurelia aurita, which has the unimaginable capacity to regenerate ad infinitum, as demonstrated by recent scientific research carried out in China, collected in an article by marine biologist Jinru He, and published in 2015.