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The Herring Lived On Dry Land

2016
asphalt cylinders, road salt, adhesive vinyl
dimensions variable

completed at Kilometre of Sculpture 2016 (Satelitte Programme), Rakvere, Estonia

 

The Herring Lived on Dry Land is inspired by the Estonian folk song— Heeringas elas kuival maal. The myth tells the story of ancient times when the herring had legs and used to live on dry land. The herring was kept like a cat to catch rats. Once, a sailing boat transported a large load of salt and the herring was brought onboard. The herring loved to eat salt and gnawed through the salt sacks and accidentally through the wooden hull beneath it, causing the ship to sink. This incident angered Neptune, the god of the Sea, who punished the herring to live in seawater forever. The salt that had poured into the sea resulted that the sea water became salty from then on.

 

 

 

Yunrubin explores the boundaries of language and myth through materiality and space to create a modern narrative. With reference to the folk song, the installation consist of a layer of road salt that fills up the entire floor. Asphalt cylinders rest on the salt. The title of the work is spelt out through abstracts letters on the walls, adding to a sense of uknown and mystery. 

The asphalt cylinders are readymade standardised industrial test units. They represent language and myth as a condensation of concepts. Like words on a blank page and coordinates in abstract space, it becomes a constellation in the infinite sea of meanings.