Project Description

DNA of Water

For centuries now, we crossed waters and borders around the globe for different (un)compelling reasons: curiosity, economic gain, calamities, religion, war, leisure, knowledge and personal gain. Traditionally water has functioned as a border to prevent others from entering a space. Utopia, the ideal society set on an island, it serving as a shelter for his revolutionary ideas, protected from the outside world. But water has also served as a gateway and passage to explore other spaces, connect with others and find resources. As such water carriers the world history yet has the fluidity to keep adapting to the present and future and is in a continuous transition. How do we as a people relate to our history, our present and future? 

Artists: Deborah Jack, Petri Saarikko, Sasha Huber and Simone Bennett. Curator: Sasha Dees


Press on DNA of Water:

Deborah Jack is a photo-based artist. Her work deals with trans-cultural existence, memory, re-memory and the environment. She examines the manner in which nature create memorials for the small and monumental atrocities in the multiple histories that have occurred. The work is meant to evoke the sublime: hurricanes, the sea, the shore, and the land are re-occurring aspects.

Petri Saarikko combines societal commentary with his new media design profession and curatorial background, which results in long term social interventions. His work has a holistic performative nature and strives to engender power relations, making room for individual narratives and taking a stand for equality.

Sasha Huber‘s is primarily concerned with the politics of memory and belonging, particularly in relation to colonial residue left in the environment. Sensitive to the subtle threads connecting history and the present, she uses and responds to archival material within a layered creative practice that encompasses video, photography, collaborations with researchers, and performance-based interventions.

Simone Bennett‘s practice focuses on films, staged photographs and prints. Bennett’s work deals with the disruption of everyday life as we know it. Without being explicit, she questions sore spots in society. The work has a dark aesthetic while incorporating humor and a focus on small details. Her works is inspired by journalism and books combined with daily experiences and dreams.

Sasha Dees is an international independent curator, producer and writer. She wants to provide a platform for emerging artists who push limits, cross borders and break down barriers. Art for her is about communication, confronting people without imposing, and creating a dialogue that offers a different perspective.


Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art: Main Hall
located at the main entrance – Building C

Opening reception: Sunday March 26, 2017 3-6PM
Exhibition runs until Sunday June 25, 2017.  EXTENDED till September 3rd, 2017.  EXTENDED till September 17, 2017.

Snug Harbor, Main Hall, Richmond Terrace 1000, Staten Island

$5 Gallery Admission / $4 Students/Seniors/Members /Free for children 12 and under
Open: Wednesdays-Sundays, 10-5PM (last call at 4:30PM)

Ferry to Staten Island (20 min. FREE) take a lyft or cab (approx $6) or the S40 bus from Staten Island Ferry Terminal (5 min.) you can use your MTA card on the bus or a 15 minute walk. S40 GOETHALS RD via RICH TR bus and the stop is called Richmond Ter/Sailors S H Gate. Sit on the left side of the bus so you can look out of the window and you will recognise the old buildings (there’s 5 in total next to eachother) in the park in this discussion feed.

This project is in part made possible by: Sharp Artist in Residency, Taike Taiteen Edistämiskeskus – Arts Promotion Centre Finland, VISEK, Vooren Productions and CUNY College of Staten Island (for Sasha Huber & Petri Saarikko), Mondriaan Fonds, LAB 111, Suitsupply and crowdfunding (for the work by Simone Bennett).

Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art acknowledge generous support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, New York Community Trust, Material for the Arts and the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island. Snug Harbor Cultural Center is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate.

Thank you: all staff of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Gabri Christa, Gerrit Vooren, Bonnie Chin, Ken Bach and Vladimir Cybil Charlier