Applied Hydrodynamica

Liam Gillick, 1964

Applied Hydrodynamica, 2015

Born in 1964 in Aylesbury, United Kingdom, Liam Gillick completed his undergraduate degree in fine arts at Goldsmiths College and held his first solo exhibition at London’s Karsten Schubert gallery in 1989. Gillick, who also writes articles on art and curates exhibitions, lives and works in New York.

Gillick works with diverse forms of expression, including writing, installation, video, and books, and centers his practice on systems of language, signs, architecture, color categorization, and diagrams, which are constructed around various ideologies. A major figure among the Young British Artists during the 1990s, Gillick was a proponent of relational aesthetics, a term coined by the French curator Nicolas Bourriaud to describe artworks that are independent of the space of exhibition and acquire meaning through their social and cultural context and the intellectual contributions of viewers. Gillick opens the established elements of semiotics to reinterpretation through a possible reference to the future while taking into consideration concepts of production and consumption. Using a minimalist language, the artist’s works include texts that he renders sculptural through fragmented dialogues, and colored Plexiglas panels that are adapted to the space at hand. Design and architectural frameworks play an important part as Gillick manipulates the boundaries between humankind’s scope of action, thought, and language.

Designed for the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015, Gillick’s "Applied Hydrodynamica" was situated on Istanbul Modern’s facade overlooking the Bosphorus. Blending art and science, this work is inspired by a mathematical formula relating to the principle of conservation of energy for flowing fluids. The physical phenomenon known as the Bernoulli effect dictates that if there is a sudden increase in the velocity of the flow when a fluid enters a narrow orifice, there will be a decrease in its pressure. Gillick leverages this equation demonstrating energy per unit volume before and after constriction to emphasize the universality of mathematics, which transcends language.




Bernoulli equation painted on wall

Credit Line

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection