Quick Hits: The Art of Tragedy


This fishing vessel, known as the Death Ship, sank in the dark on April 18, 2015 killing as many as 900 migrants trapped in its hull. It is being installed in Venice’s former shipyards as the centerpiece of a project by Swiss-Icelandic artist Christoph Buechel, for the the 58th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale (running May 11 – Nov 24, 2019).

Buchel obtained permission from Italian authorities and a group that represents the victims to transport the hull to Venice as part of a project called “Barca Nostra” (Our Boat). It will be shown in a shipyard by itself, without any explanation. “It is a quiet site, sheltered from noise, an invitation to silence and meditation,” said Paolo Baratta, head of the Biennale.

The 90-foot vessel sank between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa, after it collided with a vessel that had responded to its distress call. There were only 28 survivors, as most of the people on board (and there never was a complete count) were trapped in the hold as the boat capsized. (Image: Tiziana FABI / AFP )

Read a feature on the tragedy, and the art project, in The Guardian, here.

Image Top of post:  Andrea Merola/EPA

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