A Relic of Human Tragedy at Venezia Biennale

Seen here at the Italian Navy base in Melilli, Sicily, the fishing boat that normally would have accommodated a crew of fifteen but was carrying hundreds of migrants when it was shipwrecked in the Mediterranean on 18 April 2015. Photo © Christoph Büchel/BARCA NOSTRA

Seen here at the Italian Navy base in Melilli, Sicily, the fishing boat that normally would have accommodated a crew of fifteen but was carrying hundreds of migrants when it was shipwrecked in the Mediterranean on 18 April 2015. Photo © Christoph Büchel/BARCA NOSTRA

BARCA NOSTRA, an ongoing project by Christoph Büchel in collaboration with the Comune di Augusta and other parties, will be on view at Venice biennale from May 11th through November 24th.

For the 58th international exhibition in Venice themed ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’, BARCA NOSTRA will stand at the historic Arsenale, the site where ships for cultural and religious wars were produced. Four years after one of the Mediterranean's deadliest shipwreck in living memory that occurred in the Sicilian Channel, the vessel has become a symbolic object dedicated to the victims is the tragic event and the people involved in its recovery. Through the burocracy hurdles, the fishing boat that normally would have accommodated a crew of fifteen but was carrying hundreds of migrants, will finally be seen at Venice Biennale, opening up the possibility of actively using the collective shipwreck BARCA NOSTRA as a vehicle of significant sociopolitical, ethical, and historical importance.

The Maker