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12 June 2022 —
04 September 2022

Deanna Dowling: Concrete probabilities

Deanna Dowling, Concrete probabilities, 2022. Fabric, concrete (aggregate and trace seawater, collected from seawalls). Photo by Sam Hartnett.
_Deanna Dowling, Concrete probabilities, 2022 (detail). Fabric, concrete (aggregate and trace seawater, collected from seawalls). Photo by Sam Hartnett.
_Deanna Dowling, Concrete probabilities, 2022 (detail). Fabric, concrete (aggregate and trace seawater, collected from seawalls). Photo by Sam Hartnett.

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In homeopathy, water holds memories of substances, of the absent active ingredient. Every time you drink a glass of water, odds are that you will imbibe at least one molecule that passed through Oliver Cromwell.[1]  Following this example of elementary probability theory, it is likely there are fragments of other absent presences embedded in our built environment, such as traces of melting glaciers or the material that is spilling out of them.

Greenland’s icesheet alone releases 900 million tons of sediment and till – rocks and sand – into the ocean each year, material that is used both to replenish the beaches washed away by rising tides and in the manufacturing of concrete. Concrete itself is a fraught material: while it transformed the world of construction, it is also regarded as the most destructive material on the planet, clogging waterways and contributing significantly to carbon emissions. And as sea levels rise, so does the probability of building concrete sea walls in the future, to protect ourselves from the impending tides.

Drawing from homeopathic principles and probability theory, Concrete probabilities considers the interconnectedness of some of our most consumed resources, emphasising the entangled relationships between ice melting, sea levels rising and concrete production.

[1] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (London: Bantam Press, 2006).

About Deanna Dowling

Deanna Dowling holds an MFA from Massey University. Recent exhibitions include Notes on time, Gus Fisher Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2021); Hold, RM Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland (2020); The crab and the rock: landing at the resort, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington (2019); The crab and the rock, Taipei Contemporary Art Center (2019); SOLO, The Dowse Art Museum, Te Awakairangi Lower Hutt (2018).

The gallery is closed for install from 29 January 2023.

Our next exhibition Who can think, what can think curated by Bruce E. Phillips will open 18 February 2023.

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