Video installation, 3 channel, 2020
4K IR Video, 17’07’, color, sound
Sound artist Giuseppe Cordaro

Installation view, curated by Celia Prado, Konstnårhuset, Stockholm / ph. by Jan Watteus

Myths or science fiction literature can help interpret the void that reason is not able to grasp, and can, at times, even forecast the unpredictable. Such is the case with the prophetic 1962 novel "The Drowned World", by one of the most relevant writers in the sci-fi genre, James Ballard. The novel depicts a post-apocalyptic future in which global warming has rendered most of the Earth uninhabitable. "The Drowned World" has been a significant source of reference for Hydra’s work in progress.

Fiction became reality in Venice in November 2019. The persistent rains and floods affecting the city became a symbol of accelerating climate change, an indicator of this planet’s overloaded metabolism. In Hydra, Tirelli combines fact and fiction as a means of conveying humankind’s ability to adapt to chaos.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Celia Prado



Sara Tirelli’s own words regarding Hydra:
"Despite the fact that climate change is already affecting cities around the world, predictions of the future and
sci-fi imagery still dominate the discourse. My video juxtaposes fictional scenarios and reality, myth and memory, and aims at capturing the ability of the human being to adapt to chaotic breakdowns.
The footage, filmed with a full spectrum camera, is not a fanciful depiction of an imaginary world, but instead captures the existence of natural traits that exceed our ability to perceive them.
I see in the apocalypse an opportunity to dismiss old value and belief systems, and to embrace new perspectives and modes of perception in a redemptive process that can reset our sense of the self".

Excerpts from the novel “ The Drowned World “ by J.B Ballard:

                                                                                        " A current under sea
                                                                               Picked her bones in whispers.
                                                                                          As she rose and fell
                                                                                     She passed the stages
                                                                                         of her age and youth
                                                                                       Entering the whirlpool.”

Human activities which had transformed the Earth's climate made their first impact some sixty or seventy years earlier. The continued heating of the atmosphere had begun to melt the polar ice-caps.The entrained ice-seas of the Antarctic plateau broke and dissolved, (...) tens of thousands of glaciers poured themselves into the sea, millions of acres of permafrost liquefied into gigantic rivers.
Massive deltas formed at their mouths, extending the continental coastlines, the new seas completely altered the shape and contours of the continents.
The Mediterranean contracted into a system of inland lakes and Europe became a system of giant lagoons.
Cities had been beleaguered citadels, hemmed in by enormous dykes and disintegrated by panic and despair,
reluctant Venices to their marriage with the sea.

                                                                                    Soon it would have been too high