N.N. Ship (Piratin, Togo, !Namiǂnûs, Völkerfreundschaft, FGS, Ship)

Concept and spatial intervention for a floating exhibition space, 2020
To think of a ship* as an exhibition space on the move means to imagine it as active: not so much an art container that can be visited, but rather itself an act of visiting. To think of a ship as a nomadic art space that approaches different sites means to imagine it as a guest or intruder, a temporary neighbor in different localities, in urban or rural places, in dense or more scattered areas. The ship questions static institutional thinking, fixed spatial settings and organizational infrastructures, as well as the idea of an unchangeable public. Arguably, the ship forges other forms of exhibiting, as it gets into various contacts, enables and calls for new collective processes and different forms of making and perceiving things. As a floating space without fixed ground, the ship shall allow for encounters as political and aesthetic impulse. 
Gallery (3 images) The 1960s East German (GDR) excursion ship that Serbest/Mahall found to turn it into an art space can be seen as a late response to 1960s and 70s radical architecture’s utopian (major) projects for walking cities (Archigram) or media vans (Ant Farm); still, it questions the existing relations, conventions and practices in different spheres of art, life, and education. Initially, commissioned by the Hochschule für Künste Bremen to think on a new gallery, they proposed the ship as an open art space traveling on the waterways through Bremen, Hamburg, Oldenburg and farther places. Subtractive (minor) alterations transform the ship interior into an open hall that allows for various events and shows to take place. Possible names are Piratin, Togo, !Namiǂnûs, Völkerfreundschaft, FGS, or Ship.

*If the ship can be described as a placeless place, it is, more than that, a set of active relations: relations of power and exploitation, but also of desire and imagination. It is an agent connecting and confronting things, beings, and ideas, colonial history with a colonial present, one-day excursions with flight. The ship is part of an active infrastructure that enables and disciplines movements and displacements, be it on waterways or the open sea.