Raft of the Medusa | Hull
Humber Street Gallery Hull, United Kingdom
As part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, the exhibition Somewhere Becoming Sea at Humber Street Gallery from 5 April to 17 June 2017, takes a closer look at the ever-changing boundaries between land and sea, exploring Hull’s long-standing prominence as a gateway to the North Sea and beyond. It reflects how expanses of water that divide countries are also channels that connect them. At a time when climate change threatens to blur boundaries further and bring far-reaching economic impact, the exhibition captures the sea’s elemental power and asks: is everywhere now Somewhere Becoming Sea?
In this context, Lucy + Jorge Orta are pleased to present a new installation of the Raft of the Medusa, which takes its historical reference point from the romantic depiction of the shipwreck Le Radeau de la Méduse by Théodore Géricault (1818-1819, Musée du Louvre, Paris). For the artists, the make-shift raft constructed by the crew of the Medusa from wood salvaged from their sinking vessel recounts more than the treacherous voyage of the doomed sailors on board. It is a powerful symbol of the fateful journeys of slaves and migrants throughout history and even more so today, as we play witness to the perilous journeys of the thousands of refugees navigating the oceans in search of a safe haven.
Building on the filmed-performances staged at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2013, and Les Moulins in 2015, Raft of the Medusa at the Humber Street Gallery will become the site of a set of performative sequences that explore the gestures of fragility, helplessness and hope, and which concludes the cycle for the artists’ forthcoming film.