Klara Hobza’s project Diving Through Europe (2010–) quite literally documents the artist’s continental journey underwater, beginning at the North Sea and leading her in various stages through the Rhine, the Main and the Danube rivers to her final destination in the Black Sea. Hobza’s idiosyncratic and expansive practice, which often involves expeditions and excursions, is deadly serious and often dangerous, ambitious if not quixotic, and just slightly crazy. Hers are essentially lived projects, a way to engage with the world.
In Diving Through Europe, the logistics, dangers and physical challenges of swimming these waters reflect the geopolitical, historical and environmental realities of the landscapes she is crossing. The installation produced for BNLMTL 2014 is developed around her most recent dive, undertaken in Rotterdam in August 2014 and commissioned by the Biennale. The resulting video, and soundtrack composed by Klaus Janek, is presented alongside video documentation of her training sessions and previously completed dives, underwater photographs, sketches of her route, travel documents, dive-related objects and a sundry of collected materials.
That Hobza has conceived of a project that she expects will take decades to complete is testimony to her fierce determination, but also to a way of inscribing an artistic practice within lived time, and exhibitions as stops along the way.