Troubled Water. From Transcendental Aesthetics to the Global Economy

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Per Hüttner will present work in the 10th Baltic Contemporary Art Biennial which focuses on the cultural, philosophical, economic and ecological aspects of the sea. At least since the age of Romanticism, inherent qualities of mystery and horror have helped made the ocean a transcendent symbol in the canonical topos influencing the European imagination. Artistic presentation, often metaphysical and melancholic, makes it possible to trace these semantic meanings and cultural entanglements.

From the pragmatic approaches taken in the 17th and 18th centuries that portrayed the sea chiefly as a medium for developing trade and military conquest, today’s artistic treatment depicts the sea as ensuring the continuity of consumption on a global scale. As such, the sublime associations that provided the foundation for phantasmagoric content have given over to practical consideration of the effects of exploitation.

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