The immortal jellyfish
A simple – or not so much – jellyfish serves photographer Javier Viver to reflect on immortality from Navarra
Immortality has always been an inas (equ) ible presence in all the cultural, spiritual, scientific, artistic and vital manifestations of the human being. From Titon to Dracula, from Plato to Faust, from gods to God, he has never ceased to draw a spiral, endless?
With his project Aurelia Immortal, Javier Viver (Madrid, 1971) reflects again on the long-awaited and anxious search for this immortality from the observation of a variety of jellyfish, the aurelia aurita, which has the unimaginable ability to regenerate ad infinitum , as shown by a recent scientific research 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 fiction – between the field of science and that of artistic creation; Territories that often reach similar results based on different methods.
The project is structured in two well differentiated blocks. On the one hand, Viver articulates an exhibition program based on a plural use of expressive mechanisms -photography, drawing, installation, video or sound-, with the inclusion also of a sculptural object that reproduces in large format a photobook that, in turn, will be the second part of your project. Thus generates a kind of continuum the exhibition space and the space of creation of the book, a set of fractals between macro and microcosm, which end up thus constituting the two halves of the same sphere.
That photobook, possibly the most precious and singular piece of this excellent and well-armed project, in turn consists of two volumes: a leporello (book built on accordion) that shows photographically the life cycle of the jellyfish, with its pages forming a a kind of eternal cyclical star – and with the presence also of the golden color in a clear allusion to the alchemical persecution of immortality – and also a diary, written in 2046, collecting drawings, texts and various documentation that illustrate the story of a fiction .
It gives us news of a future, centered on that date, in which the biotechnological conquests have designed a “transhuman” species capable of achieving the supposedly unattainable: the immortal life. In this way, the exhibition project as a whole penetrates intelligently, and certain doses of ironic utopia, into the slippery but pertinent limes that separate – and at the same time unite – science, art and religion. That is to say, in the moldable and timeless territory of human interests. Undoubtedly, a splendid editorial project, which, like the exhibition, has also been produced by the Museo Universidad de Navarra.
Aurelia Immortal. Museum University of Navarra. Pamplona. University Campus, s / n. Until October 22.