Ship of Fools

4 channel video & stereo 2.0 installation, each channel positioned in correspondence to the cardinal points of the compass. Versions of Ship of Fools has been installed and performed since, 2007. The most complete version to date, was exhibited at GIBCA, 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden.

SHIP OF FOOLS (2000-2013), is a four channel film and sound composition and installation dealing with notions of transition, ritual and trauma in relation transatlantic heritage. It is a work concerned with the personal, the geocultural and its juncture. The video recordings were shot throughout pre-lent- (the christian term for the days before the fasting before easter) street carnivals at various locales around the Atlantic ocean such as Jacmel (Haiti), New Orleans (US), Olinda/Recife (Brazil), Loule (Portugal), Calabar (Nigeria), Tolousa (Spanish Basque Country), and Cardiff (UK). Embedded within the video material is also footage shot during the restauration of a boat and the dramatic journey of the artist across the Atlantic with his father.

Installation detail, videoperformance docu, videostills.

The actual video recordings consist in poetic fluctuations between close up study of  performance detail and the historic qualities of carnival on one hand. The intoxicated, idiosyncratic and raw all mingle in the narration of myths, canon and fantasies.

The focus is aways in close proximity of the polymorphic perversities, hyperdialogues, juxtapositions and chronotopias of the carnivalesque set adrift along the currents of transatlantic futurities and pasts. The work is focused on less commercialized street carnivals rooted in local commonalities and their organisation as carnival troupes. The cameraman and his filmings track and participate throughout public appearances and street processions transcending notions of the territorial and extraterritorial, the social and the civic, audience and participant.

As multistable modes of film work at play throughout Ship of Fools is in itself a way to mirror carnivalesque economics and thus the central drive towards an exhaust of the resources of functionality till a point when all excess of production (of a real order) flows to an outside. The recordings are strictly shot in the vein of street photography using only easily hidden camera gear. The demanding extended endurance of the actual sequences within the installation spans moments of both immense chaos and fugal synchronization. This feature serves the viewer the option to only momentarily dip in, or to get a drift in the flood of the aural and visual.

The footage contains segments from Platos text Timaeus referring to Atlantis and the antediluvian world. It also contains etymological flowcharts dealing with the word carnival and its mythological charge that mutates throughout roots like cannibal, caravel and carrus navalis - the ship of fools.

The total running time of the installation footage is approximately six hours on each of the four screens. The channels are looped and use four separate stereo soundtracks. The screens are arranged and installed aligned with the compass points of the exhibition space constructed with a hint to megalithic stone ships and cathedrals.

Edits of the Ship of Fools material has previously been shown at The Nordin Gallery, Botkyrka Konsthall in Stockholm and at the GIBCA (Gothenburg International Biennale for Contemporary Art). It has also been performed as live video concerts in collaboration with musicians at the performance and contemporary dance platform Weld in Stockholm, The Ghetto Biennale in Port au Prince (Haiti) and the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg.

The GIBCA program AnarKrew, involving Ship of Fools and Lovaman, was curated by international guest curator Claire Tancons.

The recordings making up Ship of Fools is an audiovisual archive of migrating transatlantic carnival spirit recorded 2000-2012 in Cardiff (UK), Jacmel (Haiti), Loule (Portugal), Olinda/Recife (Brasil), New Orleans (USA), the Basque Country (Spain), Calabar (Nigeria) and through out a sail across the Atlantic Ocean.

SHIP OF FOOLS has been made possible with support from the Swedish Arts Grants Commitee / IASPIS, Moderna Museet, Weld and NOKAKO (Nordisk Karnevalskomission).