Marie Lorenz (American, born 1973) is a New York–based artist who uses the tide to navigate, explore, and document urban waterways in boats she builds by hand. In 2005, the printmaker, sculptor, and filmmaker started her Tide and Current Taxi project. As part of this project, she explores New York Harbor and beyond, taking visitors in a rowboat built from salvaged materials to disused coastlines and inaccessible islands, and experiencing the urban environment from the rare perspective of the water. Along the way, she often collects trash that becomes material for her artworks in other mediums.
The artist’s five-channel video installation, Ezekia, 2014, is the fragmented story of a group of women explorers who, at some point in the not-too-distant future, navigate and make sense of a seemingly destroyed coastline. The ceaseless ebb and flow of Earth’s tides means that its shorelines are in a state of constant flux—they change more quickly than any other landscape. With this mutability in mind, Lorenz has compared the disused and often-abandoned waterways she sees from her boat to visions of a future yet to come, stark glimpses of humankind’s true effect on the environment. The women in Ezekia occupy a vertiginous future in which everything has already been recycled, familiar language has broken down, and detritus has become a precious tool for symbolic communication.
The sculptures also presented as part of this exhibition are made from charcoal rubbings Lorenz takes from wooden dock pilings along the water; they echo the maze of pilings depicted in Ezekia and connect the mysterious explorers’ world with our own.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.