christoph büchel brings boat that killed hundreds of migrants to the venice art biennale
 

christoph büchel brings boat that killed hundreds of migrants to the venice art biennale

swiss-icelandic artist christoph büchel has brought the remains of a deadly fishing boat, which on 18 april 2015 sank off the coast of libya killing at least 800 refugees, to the 58th venice art biennale. titled barca nostra, the vessel is presented as part of the ralph rugoff-curated international exhibition in the historic arsenale, the site where venetian ships for cultural and religious wars were once produced.

image © designboom

 

 

the fishing boat that sank on april 2015 was normally built to accommodate a crew of fifteen, but was carrying hundreds of migrants when it collided with a portuguese freighter in the sicilian channel, 96 km off the libyan coast and 193 km south of the italian island of lampedusa, in international waters. after being recovered from the seabed by the italian navy in 2016, and following a series of proposed plans for its future location and use, the vessel was handed over to the commune of augusta, which is working alongside christoph büchel in the project barca nostra. according to a press release, ‘the project facilitates a symbolic transfer of the status of the shipwreck that changes its legal status from a former object of court evidence to an artefact, considered “a special vessel to be disposed of” by ministerial decree, to a “bene culturale”, a significant symbol of our “interesting times” and collective complicity and memory, resulting in its first public exhibition at the arsenale in venice.’

image © designboom

 

 

the symbolic character of the vessel marks it a monument to contemporary migration, dedicated ‘not only to the victims of the tragic event in 2015 and the people involved in its recovery, but to our mutual responsibility representing the collective policies and politics that create such wrecks.’ by publicly displaying barca nostra, the press release also states, ‘at the arsenale – in the context of the cultural spectacle and economic operation of the biennale in venice, a city based on migration that feeds the machine of its own destruction through mass tourism – opens up the possibility of actively using the collective shipwreck barca nostra as a vehicle of significant sociopolitical, ethical, and historical importance.’

image © designboom

image © designboom image © designboom image © designboom

image © designboom image © designboom

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: barca nostra

artist: christoph büchel

exhibiton: la biennale di venezia – 58th international exhibition ‘may you live in interesting times’

duration: 11 may – 24 november 2019

location: venice, italy

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
489,360 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample