An exhibition of artist and film director Martina Amati’s immersive video installation Under (2015) as our inaugural MOVING IMAGE exhibition (26 October – 01 December 2019). This eleven-minute installation is comprised of two separate looped video projections, with each film named after a quantitate means of measuring free-diving ability: Distance and Depth. Underwater cinematographer Daan Verhoeven captured Amati’s subaquatic performance, shooting every scene on a single, non-assisted breath of air.
With its vivid blue colouration and lens flares nostalgically evoking the primeval sun, Amati’s film tantalisingly visualises the human origin story—Charles Darwin’s initially outrageous idea that all life began in the sea. The two films will command the barn in its entirety, with Distance shown on a large screen at the far end of the space and Depth projected onto a custom built ‘diving platform’ suspended from the roof and floating above people’s heads. Amati’s accompanying documentary of the same name, one that explores the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of this extreme sport, will also be on show. The documentary, for which she worked with Professor Kevin Fong, features interviews with masters of free-diving including world record holder Enzo Maiorca, who was the inspiration for Luc Besson’s ‘The Big Blue’, as well as scientists who research the effects of free-diving on the apparatus of the human body.
Martina Amati is an Italian BAFTA-winning filmmaker and artist. With her short films Amati has won a UNICEF AWARD (A’Mare), a BAFTA in 2010 (I Do Air) and another BAFTA nomination in 2012 for Chalk, which also won a BIFA (British Independent Film Award), along side several other international awards.