Floating Art 2019 - Cry Me a River

Floating Art 2019 - Cry Me a River

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Welcome to Floating Art 2019 – You have been selected by an international jury to apply for participation!

The application deadline was march 20th. All applicant will hear from us in april.

(Dansk version HER)

Floating Art 2019 – Cry Me a River is an international exhibition on Vejle Fjord, which connects the waters of Vejle, as water connects people. The exhibition is about the potential of water, its destructive tendencies and the human connection to nature and to each other. The exhibition period is 23 June to 1 September 2019.

Below, you will find information about the concept, inspiration and the application procedure.

The jury who will select this year’s works consists of:

  • Raimundas Malašauskas, internationally renowned curator (Documenta (13), oO, Lithuanian and Cyprus Pavillons Venice Biennale (2013)
  • Mathias Kryger, writer at Politiken, curator and artist
  • Anna Margrethe Pedersen, founder of YEARS, artist and curator at Vestjyllands Kunstpavillon
  • Mette Woller, curator, Vejle Art Museum

FLOATING ART pays an exhibition fee of DKK 25,000. In addition, FLOATING ART pays a production subsidy of DKK 20,000.

The deadline for application is 20 March 2019. You will find a link to the application form and further practical information at the bottom of this page.

Note: Unfortunately, it is not possible to apply to participate in the exhibition unless you have received a personal invitation.

Illustration: Sculpture (Call me Venus) and photo Ceylan Öztrük.

FLOATING ART 2019 - Cry Me a River

You were my sun, you were my earth
But you didn't know all the ways I loved you, no
So you took a chance, made other plans
But I didn't think they would come crashing down, no

- Justin Timberlake, Cry Me a River, 2002

Floating Art 2019 - Cry Me a River is about the potential of water, its destructive tendencies and the human connection to nature and to each other.

Floating Art 2019 - Cry Me a River is a fabulation considering the political, social and climate-threatened landscape that characterises the world and has long-term implications for the future. The exhibition explores the future of humankind and community as the way forward – framed by a science fiction universe providing unlimited space for different thinking and alternative solutions. Floating Art 2019 - Cry Me a River launches the audience on floating experiences in an experimental sci-fi universe, where they are invited to think about the future of humans and community.

This summer, Vejle Fjord transforms into the planet Venusmira – a Greek mythologically inspired sci-fi narrative. We encourage this year’s artists at Floating Art to let themselves be inspired by water, the science fiction genre and its themes regarding gender, bodies, sexuality, solidarity and the world we live in. Like art, science fiction can push boundaries and challenge ways of thinking, and that is what the exhibition wants to focus on.

Cry Me a River is a fabulation about the future of humankind, where the community is the only way forward. The foam-born Venus figure is part of a sci-fi universe on the wet planet Venusmira, named after, and taking the shape of, the transsexual sea snail Miamira alleni. In contrast to the other planets of the galaxy, Venusmira has a fluid, constantly changing organic form. After the end of Earth, Venus tries to lead the beings of Venusmira towards a new social order. The planet can only survive if everyone is connected. However, colonies slowly begin to originate from the community, just as remnants from Earth constantly threaten the peaceful planet.

The title of Floating Art 2019 is inspired by pop singer Justin Timberlake’s song from 2002, Cry Me a River.


“Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive ”

- Ursula K. Le Guin


The concept for Cry Me A River is a sci-fi narrative inviting artists and audience to think along with and complete the story. The story is built around three time periods to create the scary thought that the climate changes that leads to Earth’s downfall has already happened once, and that history simply repeats itself: We need to act now on humankind’s destiny, if we, and the rest of the planet’s lifeforms, are to survive. We can only do that together. The three time periods which could constitute three books, are connected to three planets:

The planet Venus (past), the planet Earth (present) and the planet Venusmira (future).
The exhibition is the third book, which takes place in the future to give us another view of the present.
The Greek-mythological love goddess, Venus, is the common figure.

Venus is one of the most used figures and depicted bodies in art history. Most people might know her from the artist Sandro Botticelli’s painting “The Birth of Venus” or the famous Venus sculpture “Venus of Willendorf”, created about 24,000 years ago. The mythological narrative tells how Venus’s father, the god Saturn, in a battle castrated his tyrannical father and threw his genitals into the sea. Venus was created from the mixture of blood, sperm and seawater, rose from the sea foam by the coast and went ashore.

Cry Me a River rewrites the patriarchal and slightly primitive narrative we also know from the Bible, where the woman is created from the man and instead inserts a queer-oriented alternative where men can become pregnant and give birth to children. This is inspired by seahorses, where the female seahorse lays her eggs in the male seahorse, who carries and gives birth to the babies.

Science fiction mostly deals with outer space, aliens, and the fear of the unknown, but many science fiction characters are taken directly from the sea like the Phronima parasite that inspired the Alien films. We still do not know 91 per cent of the different species living in the sea. Those we do know, show us completely different sensory devices and ways of communicating, such as the Mantis shrimp which has up to 16 cells in the eye for reading light and colour – unlike humans who only have three. Or dolphins’ ability to “see” via echolocation, where they “read” the echo of sound waves from the objects close to them. Thus, it is in our own biological backyard that we can find inspiration for other ways of understanding and sensing the world.

The animals of the sea also show us an openness to alternative sexualities, sex and bodies that question what can be termed ‘natural’. Cry Me a River is based on these through the multi-gendered beings found in the narrative.
Moreover, we are not so different from the universe of the sea at all.

Emerging of the sea, the human ancestors were a kind of alien shape shifters who, between 360 and 380 million years ago, lost their gills and walked onto the shore. Water is an essential part of being human. We mature in amniotic fluid, just as our body consists of up to 70 per cent water. We are all walking bodies of water. We share this with the animals and the multicellular plants on earth. Water is what – despite our many differences – ties us together across countries, cultures and bodies. We all depend on water to survive. The survival of the water is therefore our own survival.

At a time when communities close in on themselves and population groups are excluded, water shows us the potential for reuniting and thinking an inclusive society. In the sea, there are no boundaries or walls. Here everything happens in one unified world, where diversity is not articulated, but just allowed to be.

Cry Me a River thus uses mythology to tell us about the past and the sins of humanity, while climate changes are viewed from the present – and the future is found in community and the potential of water. If the future is to remain, we are forced to view the world in a different way than before. Sci-fi, art and the sea can help us in relation to that.

In this way, the historical Venus becomes a fossil of the past brought into the future to show how art can be rewritten and is relevant at all times, as well as its important potential for unlimited space for different thinking and alternative world views.

You can download a longer version af the mythological story Cry Me a River HERE.

Cry Me a River Facts
Cry Me a River may sound like an imaginative tale far from the real world. But the exhibition just directs attention to what is right in front of us. Earth is a living organism that reacts to what it is exposed to. Pluto has a heart-shaped sea filled with poisonous ice. Current thinking suggests that Venus once had seas that evaporated when the planet’s temperature rose. All the beings in the narrative are inspired by actual animals existing in the sea. And the Schizophyllum Commune fungus has 23,328 different genders.

Thank You
Cry Me a River is dedicated to and inspired by Astrida Neimani’s literary works on water (Bodies of Water) and the sci-fi writer Octavia Butler (Lilith’s Brood). Also thank you to Louis Scherfig for inspiration and conversations. Thank you to the sea and its animals for the greatest inspiration for the creatures in the story – And to Justin Timberlake.

Selective Open Call

  • Kurator - Floating Art