"A Ship will not come" was conceived out of a question posed by the handling of the old sailors' super8 footage: when does the "tourist perspective" of these images convey something like historical, political or even aesthetic insight?
On the foreground: a photograph by Allan Sekula (USA, 1951 - 2013), part of the work "The Docker's Museum". Johann Jacobs Museum Zurich
Tourists crowd and take picture in front of French artist Théodore Géricault's (1791-1824) painting 'The Raft of the Medusa' (Louvre). The painting was based on a disaster that occurred off the coast of Senegal in 1816, and sparked a massive scandal when it was first shown in 1819. "It wasn't necessarily the fate of the man that inspired Géricault's painting per se; it had more to do with political fiasco, more precisely the failure of a corrupt elite that had regained power with the restoration of the monarchy in France and had actively participated in the slave trade, among other things". Keystone / Christophe Petit Tesson
German artist Dierk Schmidt (b. 1965) is primarily concerned with the historical imaginary. This painting of his - "Untitled (Salon Carré 1819 / Louvre 2001/02) - plays with the public reaction of Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa. (Oil on canvas, centerpiece of a triptych from the picture cycle SIEV-X – On a Case of Intensified Refugee Politics, 2001/02. Courtesy of the artist). Johann Jacobs Museum Zurich
A frame from the super8 footage of the sailors in the MS Basilea, shot in the 1960s. Apart from the uneventfulness of daily work aboard the ship, the sailors could witness some outstanding historical moments, such as a military parade during China's Cultural Revolution or a visit by the late emperor of Ethiopia Haïlé Sélassié I to a Russian warship in the port of Massawa, in today's Eritrea. Johann Jacobs Museum
Multimedia artist Hira Nabi (b. 1987) moves across research and visual production interrogating the relationship between memory and histories, witnessing and testimonies through image and narrative. The docu-fiction video "All That Perishes At The Edge of Land" is a study of the shipbreaking yard, and the migrant labourers working under exacting conditions at Gadani, in southwest Pakistan. Hira Nabi
The "Bibby Challenge" alluded by Adnan Softić is a cross between a cruise ship and a container ship, used by the German authorities in Hamburg to accomodate refugees from the Yugoslav civil wars in the 1990s. Softić lived on this ship, and his installation reconstructs the particular way of life in the ship in sounds and images.
(Adnan Softić, Bibby Challenge, plastic, 2018). Adnan Softić
Dierk Schmidt, Xenophobe-Shipwreck Scene, dedicated to the 353 Drowned Asylum Seekers died on the Indian Ocean, on the Morning of October 19, oil on acrylic on PVC-sheeting, from the picture cycle SIEV-X – On a Case of Intensified Refugee Politics, 2001/02. Courtesy of the artist. Dierk Schmidt
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