Untitled, and still summer


Yesterday I spoke to an oceanographer who told me that less than eight per cent of the seabed is mapped. As well as being unknown to humans, the seabed exists in a constant process of creating and destroying itself. Tectonic plates break at their contours and slowly move away from each other. Magma bubbles up from the crevices to the surface, and as it cools with the seawater, it turns into rock. This rock becomes part of the Earth's crust, and so this process, called ocean-floor spreading, begins again.

As she explained it to me, I thought of Maria Tinaut and her archipelago of broken tiles, found in the field behind her house. The blue flowers, once complete, are now a bed of broken petals. She took them back to her studio to look for where the curved and now blurred lines might have originally met, in an attempt to put the broken parts back together again. According to philosopher Martha Nussbaum, "to be a good human being is to have a certain openness to the world, the ability to trust the uncertain beyond your own control, to the point where it can shatter you". But what happens if one attends to the kind of rupture Nussbaum describes? Tinaut's piece Untitled (Blue 1) - several dozen small pieces of tile, which almost-almost-but-not-quite match, agglomerated in grey mortar - offers an answer: behave like the seabed.

Maria Tinaut Exhibition