Ship of Fools/The Dockers' Museum
Edited by Hilde van Van Gelder
Ship of Fools/The Dockers' Museum is the project on which the North American artist and writer Allan Sekula worked during the last three years of his life (2010–2013). The work consists, first, of a corpus of thirty-three framed photographs and two slide projections of more than one hundred images, all made by the artist (Ship of Fools); second, it contains a gigantic collection of various objects, graphic images, postcards, and prints that the artist purchased, mostly online (The Dockers’ Museum). Sekula dedicated this work to both historical and contemporary labor solidarity in and around the docks. At the time of his death in 2013, Allan Sekula was in the midst of collaborating on this publication with four of its contributing authors: Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Alberto Toscano, and Hilde Van Gelder, each of whom he had asked to write essays.
This volume, which includes a representative ensemble of images and objects that are part of Ship of Fools/The Dockers’ Museum, follows as closely as possible the instructions given by the artist and is the first substantial scholarly analysis of this impressive project. It contains a preface by Jürgen Bock and Bart De Baere, who both curated exhibited installations of the work during the artist's lifetime. The volume also includes draft text materials written by the artist himself, as well as selections from the multitude of unpublished interviews, public debates, and lectures that Allan Sekula delivered between 2010 and 2012. Finally, this publication includes a moving essay on the project by the artist's widow, Sally Stein.
Contributors: Jürgen Bock (Maumaus), Gail Day (University of Leeds), Bart De Baere (Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen),Steve Edwards (Open University), Allan Sekula (California Institute of the Arts), Sally Stein (University of California, Irvine), Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths), Hilde Van Gelder (KU Leuven)