Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself II: Future Relics


Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself II: Future Relics (2018) is the second investigative project by Nicola Baratto & Yiannis Mouravas on the intersection between Dream & Archaeology, a practice formalised as Archaeo-Dreaming. For Future Relics the artist duo embarked on a journey to Aruba, in the Dutch Antilles, that sparked a research on a mythical island named Antilia and its connection to a German WWII shipwreck: the SS Antilla. The outcome of their quest was presented at NEVERNEVERLAND–Amsterdam in December 2018, in the form of an art publication and a 2-channel video installation. The former was made in collaboration with Viktor Gogas, the latter with Marijn Degenaar, Francesco G. Gagliardi and Claudio Zaia.

– Info

Cat. No.: UNT 9
Edited by: Nicola Baratto & Yiannis Mouravas, Viktor Gogas
Title: Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself II: Future Relics

Main body 16 x 26 cm
80 pages 4-colour offset
A1 foldable silver-printed map on black paper attached
Cover is silver-printed on black paper
Includes a 2-color risograph postcard
December 2018

Edition of 252 copies. 

– Credits

Designed by N. Baratto & Y. Mouravas, V. Gogas at Bend
Printed by K. Kostopoulos, Athens
Book bound by hand by V. Vlachou
Co-produced by Dolce Publishing House & Untitled-1, Athens
Supported by AFK–Amsterdam Fonds Voor de Kunst
Presented at NEVERNEVERLAND, between November 30 and December 9, 2018
With the contribution of Francesco G. Gagliardi
Distributed by Dolce Publishing
Photos by N. Baratto & Y. Mouravas, Thanassis Efthimiou & V. Gogas


– S.A.D. of Itself II: Future Relics

Sometimes Archaeology Dreams of Itself II: Future Relics embodies the metaphysics of a journey Baratto & Mouravas undertook to Aruba, in the Dutch Antilles, in June 2018, while researching an ‘Atlantic Triangle’.

On the first cornerstone of such triangle, there is SS Antilla: a Nazi shipwreck that sunk off the coast of Aruba 1940 in the aftermath of the German invasion of the Netherlands. The second vertex of this geometry is Antilia: a phantom island with seven harbours, which appeared in the nautical charts of medieval cartographers before the Atlantic became widely explored, and eventually disappeared from mapping as no one ever found it. The third point is the Antilles, the cluster of islands Aruba is part of. The archipelago is an extension of the Dutch Colonial history and was named after the promises that the New World of Antilia and its sister Atlantis could bring into existence.

This geometry materialises – both in the book and the video installation – as a mosaic in time & space. Through the employment of both historical and mythical languages, this construction builds a symbolic universe with complex ambivalences. A search for utopia is corrupted by dystopian memories. A quest for the unknown takes place in the ultimate tourist island. Death and immortality merge into a decaying artefact of World War II. The Western conception of the Caribbean as Paradise clashes with the tourist Caribbean Hell, as described by Angelique V. Nixon in “Tourism is the New Colonialism” (Resisting Paradise, 2015).

Thus, the journey represents a mythopoetic–historical speculation of an Atlantic Past as seen through the experience of Antilla, both as a Nazi–wreck and an invisible island. As the future is an imminent moment, already inscribed into the present instant, the visual labyrinth of Future Relics reframes a given past into an immeasurable utopia.

Finally, the printed volume, in connection with the moving images, is an aesthetic and tangible guide to Archaeo-Dreaming, a practice initiated by Baratto & Mouravas somewhere between the historic and oneiric memory we all share.


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