Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship is a project by Artist Chris Burden

Ghost Ship involves the autonomous voyage of a boat from Fair Isle, Scotland due south along the Eastern shores of the British Isles to Newcastle upon Tyne. Ghost Ship takes the form of a traditional 28 ft Shetland sailing boat, a 'Sixareen', and has been especially hand-built on Fair Isle by Ian Best. Fitted with the technology and equipment to enable independent navigation, Ghost Ship will embark on its maiden voyage from Fair Isle, set to arrive in Newcastle as the Tall Ships prepare to leave on the final leg of the race to Friedrichstadt, Norway on the 27th July. Ghost Ship will sail the final leg of its journey up the river Tyne in the wake of their departure. Once Ghost Ship has arrived it will be on public view until the 29th July. (From a release on the University of Southampton web site. )

(The web site is fun. Remote cameras that visitors could control from the site would have been more fun.)

Chris Burden gained notoriety as a body artist in the 70s for his controversial, life-risking performances.

His most well-known act from that time is perhaps the performance piece Shoot that was made in F Space in Santa Ana, California in 1971, in which he was shot in his left arm by an assistant from a distance of about five meters. -Wikipedia link

Nailed to a Volkswagen Bug in Crucifixion, 1973.

I've always been a big fan of the performance art of the 70's, particularly Body Art, primarily for its conceptual nature and emphasis on "process over product". As there is nothing to sell (other than book of the history), the art world seems to forget about this interesting work a bit more each year. (Vito Acconci is another great artist from this period)

Text of an article on Burden by Robert Horvitz. Originally published in Artforum magazine. (May 1976)

The opening from tht really bad movie Ghost Ship is really... just watch it

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