Water Mill, NY
Radical Seafaring is a multidisciplinary exhibition, publication, and program initiative that includes two-dimensional works, sculptural objects, vessels, models, film and video, off-site commissions, and boat trips around East End waterways.
The exhibition features twenty-five artists with works that range from artist-made vessels, to documentation of creative expeditions, to speculative designs for alternative communities on the water. The exhibition begins with conceptual and performance art of the 1960s and 70s and extends to recent phenomenological research and site-specific works that involve relocating the studio, the laboratory, or the performance space to the water. The increasing number of works created on the water by contemporary artists in the last decade is approaching the critical mass of a movement like Land art, only at sea.
The exhibition is divided into four themes: Exploration (the quest for new experiences, the ineffable, and living in an exhilarated state), Liberation (self-reliance, freedom from terrestrial social contracts, the desire to shape one’s world, and Utopian impulses), Fieldwork (hands-on, methodological intelligence gathering about the environment, such as an artist laboratory at sea), and Speculation (waterways as a tabula rasa on which other realities can be built).
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, , the exhibition catalog makes a direct connection between today’s seafaring art and performance pieces of the 1960s and ’70s. Bringing together artistic expressions that take place on bodies of water, this book connects contemporary creative explorations at sea with works by Land, Environmental, and Conceptual artists. Among the artists included are Atelier Van Lieshout, Ant Farm, Chris Burden, Michael Combs, Mark Dion, Buckminster Fuller, Marie Lorenz, Robert Smithson, Simon Starling, and Swoon. Featured projects tackle subjects as diverse as freedom from the law of the land, Utopian impulses, and seaborne laboratories and studios.