“The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.” is a transmedia exhibition project, the result of an ongoing, in-depth exchange between writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge, artist Thomas Demand, stage and costume designer Anna Viebrock and curator Udo Kittelmann.
The long process which led to the realization of this project is not only the result of discussions and exchanges between the authors involved in it, but also the outcome of a misunderstanding. The sharing of a reproduction of a painting by Angelo Morbelli Giorni… ultimi! (1883)
Quoting William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar “Why, now blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark! The storm is up, and all is on the hazard”, Udo Kittelmann underlines how this collaboration generated out of a “shared awareness, both on an emotional and theoretical level, of the critical aspects of present times and the complexity of the world we live in”. In a dialogue of polyphonic references and constellations between the contributions of each artist, the exhibition spans film, art and theatre media. The confluence of image spaces and scene settings for a variety of atmospheres transforms the historic palazzo of Ca’ Corner della Regina into a metaphorical site for the identification of the worlds we live in and our personal attitudes towards them. The exhibition aims to provide comprehensive insight into the respective production of Alexander Kluge, Thomas Demand and Anna Viebrock, whose artistic endeavours have always extended beyond the aesthetic and imaginative, and were conceived with political and historical intentions. All three artists reveal themselves as pathfinders and clue seekers, witnesses and chroniclers of times past and present.
Out of this, an exhibition is generated, intended as a space for experiences and encounters. This visually powerful, multi-layered environment bestows expression and meaning on the everyday and on the worlds of yesterday and today, between apparent normality and catastrophe, in a society divided between lust for life and loss of trust, extreme distress and never-ending hope.
In “The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.” each visitor can create its own narration in complete freedom, physically and conceptually moving through the visual imagery of the three artists. Through this, three commonly accepted ideas are questioned: the traditional separation between spectators and theatre set designs, the reduction of filmic products to mere exhibited objects and the visual isolation where artworks are usually presented within a show.
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