Twenty-Three Days at Sea is an unconventional travelling artist residency offering selected emergent visual artists passage aboard container ships sailing from Vancouver to Shanghai. Crossing the Pacific takes approximately 23 days, during which time the artists are considered “in residence” aboard the vessels. Embedding artists within the system of global sea-borne freight, and offering them the opportunity to consider and respond to it, we proposed a means through which to render that system visible.
The exhibition Twenty-Three Days at Sea, Chapter One presents new bodies of work by the residency’s inaugural four artists–Nour Bishouty, Christopher Boyne, Elisa Ferrari, and Amaara Raheem–produced in response to their time spent on the open sea. While diverse in their treatment of both media and subject matter, each of these artists’ practices is marked by a perceptible state of seeking. Their works on exhibition do not directly convey their experiences on the cargo vessels. Rather, through sculpture, sound, video, gathered ephemera, text, and movement, they meditate on the carriage of experience itself, as well as the complexity of translation, the fallibility of recall, and the conditions of complicity. In addition to the work produced for the exhibition, the artists were each given a hand-bound logbook, in which to work and think through their journey. The logbook is a significant component of this residency program. Purposefully offering a device outside of the the body of work they create for the exhibition at Access the logbook offers a space to record and represent their time at sea. Artists may choose to enter the log faithfully over the course of the crossing or to produce it belatedly, in a highly considered act of recall and assembly. This exhibition includes the launch of four limited edition (hand-sewn, signed) bookworks: reproductions of each artist’s residency logbook, which record and represent the weeks spent at sea.
Born in Italy and based in Vancouver,Elisa Ferrari’s practice aims to uncover disparities between historical documentation and experience, and frequently asks how everyday activities become articulated tactics that might enable critiques of institutional power. She works with archival fragments of text, image, and videography to consider the act and implications of retrieval, in projects that manifest through installation, performance, sound, and photography. Ferrari is a graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design’s MAA program. Since 2013 she has served as Events and Exhibitions Curator at VIVO Media Arts Centre and as member of the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive Committee.
Book – $15.00 CA
Set of 4 2015/2016 resident logbooks – $50.00 CA
ISBN – 978-1-988149-02-8
Twenty-Three Days at Sea: A Travelling Artist Residency is produced by Access Gallery in partnership with the Burrard Arts Foundation and the Contemporary Art Gallery. Additional assistance in Asia is graciously provided by China Residencies and Art Contraste, and at the port by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Access is grateful for the ongoing support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia government through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, the City of Vancouver, and our donors, sponsors, members and volunteers.