The Charles H. Scott Gallery is pleased to present The Voyage, or Three Years at Sea Part II featuring the work of Bas Jan Ader, Matthew Benedict, Karl Haendel, Nina Katchadourian, and Slave Pianos. The second in a multi-part series about the sea, the exhibition looks at ill-fated voyages from Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition to Bas Jan Ader’s attempt to sail across the Atlantic. Accompanying the works of contemporary art are objects and archival materials on loan from the Maritime Museum and private collections.
Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader disappeared in 1975, while attempting a solo transatlantic crossing. His voyage was part of a project entitled In Search of the Miraculous, a component of which is in the exhibition. Ader would have known of Donald Crowhurst, an English yachtsman who in 1968 also went missing on a solo voyage (a copy of a book about Crowhurst was found in Ader’s possessions). The story of both men is conflated in a work by the Australian collective Slave Pianos (Danius Kesminus, Michael Stevenson, Neil Kelly, Rohan Drape). The Strange Voyage of Bas Jan Ader is a radio play, musical score and collection of documents that are drawn from an interview with Ader’s widow and the ramblings of Crowhurst.
Two artists in the exhibition take Ernest Shackleton’s doomed expedition to the Antarctic as their subject. Los Angeles-based Karl Haendel has produced a striking installation of drawings taken from photographs of the expedition while New York artist Nina Katchadourian’s Endurance is a video projection in which original film footage of Shackleton’s ship breaking up in the ice is projected on her tooth. A historic event of great notoriety is also the subject of New York-based Matthew Benedict Titanic Breakfast Sampler.
In dialogue with the works of contemporary art will be a selection of historical materials documenting ill-fated voyages from coastal British Columbia. Of particular note is a poignant artefact from the 1875 wreck of the Pacific on loan from the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The Maritime Museum will be collaborating with the Charles H. Scott Gallery on a series of public events in conjunction with the exhibition.
For more on this exhibition series visit Three Years at Sea.