08. March 2016: Degree Show Proposal for the Hancock Museum Newcastle:
I am working on the immigration/migration issue. The red/grey squirrel "war" in the UK links to this issue. (Native by birth, condemned by origin as they have been introduces at the end of the 19th century to the UK).
The government supports the culling of the grey squirrel, because they are seen as thread for the red population through carrying a poxvirus. To kill the grey species and favor the red one has an aftertaste of a brown attitude. (Nazi regime).
Why a shipping container:
it stands for the global trade and the problems, which comes with it (rich and poor countries)
the first squirrels have been brought to the UK in a Victorian ship, so the contemporary solution of sending them back would be a shipping container
it stands for smuggling and deporting
The shipping container would be a metaphor for deport. It would be jam-packed with casts of grey squirrels. The head of the squirrel is hanging down and at the same time an arm is raised in a victorious and good by waving posture. Outside on the shipping container will be huge catchphrases in graffiti style like:
Go home where you came from - you don`t belong here - fuck off
and so on. At the same time are the visitors invited to write their own thoughts about migration/immigration directly on to the shipping container. The floor, wall and ceiling inside the container will have a tally sheet painted by finger with blood as a reference to all the ones who are already killed through culling. A projector on the ceiling of the container projects a video or slides linked to the culling problem and to the insular thinking of the UK government.
The shipping container would be placed on a stack of china plates:
After several tutorials we agreed, that the project should be stripped down. The shipping container was sent on a 6-day journey to Rotterdam (South Shields, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Teesport, South Shields) in order to record the inside sound of this journey. The idea was to use the shipping container as a resonance body for an audio piece. Contact loudspeakers would have been mounted outside of the container on to the Corten steel walls. The audience would have listened at the outside of the container to the travel recording of the inside. Through listening to the sound backdrop of cranes, heavy diesel engines, distant human voices and indefinable noise, it feels like the monumental size of the container starts to move and the recipient becomes part of this journey.
13. April 2016: updated proposal
As the communication of the weight allowance for the exhibition space takes longer then expected, I come up with a plan B:
A side of a 20ft container or 4 doors of a container are hanging from the ceiling (H-beams) on wire ropes. They are at the same time resonance bodies for the recorded sound of the containers travel. Weight: ca. 500 – 700 kg. Outside of the container fragments will be a table with 2 chairs. On this table will be a soup plate cut in 2 identical half’s. Those plates stand for sharing and on the other hand for: you are not! eating out of the same plate! Further it links with the name “china plates” to the origin of most of the global trades of today.
Genie lift with operator for hanging. Estimated time: 3 hours
Clamps to connect on H-beams with a coupling to the wire ropes
Chain hoist to bring the container fragments in position
Protective plates for the floor while installing
03. Mai 2016: End of hope!
Unfortunately the Hancock Management and the Estate Management of Newcastle University created a weight issue around installing the container in to the Hancock. A nation wide operating Crane Company could proof for me, that it is without problems feasible. Nevertheless those updated information’s the Hancock Management decided to close down the dialog. That door was slammed!
04. Mai 2016: Never give up!
Confronted with the unsubstantiated rejection from the Hancock side, a new plan had to be developed. The further stripping down procedure offered a new quality to the audio piece: 3 Corten steel sheets of about 3m high, 1.25m wide and 2mm thick became the sound amplifying surface; a simple and nicely minimalistic design. The sheets would have leaned against a wall. This created a new problem. One of my student colleges would have to move away from a chosen wall in order to allow me to show my work. I could not accept this, as my college was preparing for a long time to show her paintings on this wall. Therefore I tried to solve the problem by asking my colleges in studio 1.11 at University to show my work alongside theirs. Gladly they supported my idea and finally it seemed that I found a way to exhibit. The module leader was not a big friend of this idea: Studio 1.11 to cramped and more important for him Hancock room 1 to empty. Fact was no showing in 1.11 but absolute showing in the Hancock. My decision was no.