Radical Seafaring, The Parrish Art Museum, New York

Radical Seafaring, Parrish Art Museum’s upcoming survey of artists’ site-specific projects on water, is the first museum exhibition of its kind. The showcase, which unites the journeys, actions, experiments and performances by artists from locations across the world including Brazil, France, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands and the U.S., provides a unique focus to widespread creative strategies that embrace the world outside. Opening on 8 May, this multidisciplinary show collates the diverse work of 25 artists or collectives, ranging from vessels to documentation of expeditions, to speculative designs for alternative communities at sea.

Andrea Grover, Century Arts Foundation Curator of Special Projects, comments: “The ‘offshore art’ projects in Radical Seafaring represent a new form of expression that is especially powerful and timely as climatologists anticipate the effects of rising sea levels, changes in weather patterns, and the impact on coastal zones.” The exhibition associates this idea of ‘offshore art’ with past developments in Land Performance and Conceptual Art of the 1960s and 70s – a time when artists moved the creative process beyond the studio – and forms new dialogues with contemporary artists whose processes continue the interdisciplinary and site-specific practices that began with pioneers such as Bas Jan Ader, Dennis Oppenheim, and Robert Smithson.

Organised into four key themes – Exploration, Liberation, Fieldwork and Speculation – the showcase will feature projects dating from 1968 to the present day including: Swoon’s handmade raft, Old Hickory, 2009, Mark Dion’s Cabinet of Marine Debris, 2013, Bas Jan Ader’s installation, In Search of the Miraculous, 1975, Simon Starling’s large format projection, Autoxylopyrocycloboros, 2006, and detailed models by R. Buckminster Fuller (Triton City Model, 1980), Pedro Reyes (Floating Pyramid, 2004) , and Cesar Harada (Protei 010.9 Mini Cargo, 2014). An off-site project, Mary Mattingly’s houseboat, WetLand, 2014, will be docked on Sag Harbor’s Long Wharf throughout the run of the exhibition.

Radical Seafaring and its accompanying catalogue are made possible by an Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award. Generous support has also been provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, an Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) Foundation Curatorial Award and the Association of Art Museum Curators, The European Fine Art Fair Maastricht, John and Anne Mullen, and David and Jane Walentas. Additional support for the catalogue was provided by the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. An extensive talks and workshops programme will complement the show throughout the summer months.

Radical Seafaring, 8 May-24 July, The Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway Water Mill, NY 11976.

For more, visit www.parrishart.org.

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1. Swoon, Old Hickory, 2009. Photo: Tod Seelie. Courtesy of Parrish Art Museum.