Formed over millions of years ago, the Earth’s fossil fuel reserves of oil are being depleted rapidly. A 2021 report on global consumption breaks it down to 1.8 litres per capita per day, with an expected increase. Approximately 706 million gallons of waste oil enter the ocean every year presenting enormous harm to the environment. The immediate effects are mass mortality and the contamination of seabirds and aquatic life. 1.8 takes the viewer on a journey to realise how much oil we use daily and to question the consequences of this consumption.
Katrin Spranger is showcasing her 1.8 performance at the debut exhibition of Climate Art Collection in Berlin. The short video is showing how the performance artist is trying to take wing with the feathered jewellery piece that carries the exact amount of 1.8 litres of oil, the performance artist starts moving and painting with dripping oil, but increasingly struggles with the forming oil slick, giving the impression of a desperate seabird being caught in an oil spill. In its trajectory from a majestic, immaculate state of being, to desperation and the eventual, horrific death, the performance creates a metaphor for humanity’s struggle to accept the inevitability that the black-golden age is coming to an end, and of our failure to control the effects of environmental destruction.