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Shipwreck, Without Label

Wilson, J. (2019) Shipwreck, Without Label. Performance Research, 24 (8). pp. 69-79.

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Swiss-Icelandic artist Christoph Büchel’s contribution to the 2019 Venice Biennale was the hull of the boat in which over 800 refugees drowned off the coast of Lampedusa in 2015. Re-christened ‘Barca Nostra’ (Our Boat), it was located on slips at the Arsenal, near cafés and bars. Because of the decision to exhibit the boat without accompanying interpretation, most visitors were blind as to the significance of this disturbing object and its relationship to the deaths at sea of refugees. This article sets out to inquire into the concept of critical distance, and dramatizes my own attempts to frame a response to the modes of exhibition and reception at work in the contemporary field of performance art.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Creative Media, Arts and Design
Publisher: Routledge as part of the Taylor and Francis Group
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