Deborah Koenker

Adrift: a sculptural installation

January 24 - February 27, 2000

During the experience of a chronic, debilitating and largely invisible illness, I planned this installation, without knowing if I would ever be well enough to realize it. The sculptural structure of the work is an overturned boat hull and a 10′ high by 170′ long translucent “wall” which undulates through the gallery, carrying image, text, and shadow projections suggestive of water. The primary narrative is excerpted from the “The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, an account of a man swept overboard and surviving ten days at sea as told to the writer by the sailor. A secondary narrative provides a fragmented personal commentary on the primary text, presenting an opportunity for dialogue on cultural attitudes to illness and disability. Images by jean Thouvenin, drawn from a guidebook to The Bayeux Tapestry, depict the Battle of Hastings (1066); in context they challenge the prevalent military/medical model of disease. This artwork is about a condition for which there is as yet no conclusive medical test, and consequently considerable skepticism. At the core of this piece is a need to tell, a need to be believed.


Adrift: a sculptural installation

This limited edition, signed, artist book (100 copies) was produced in conjunction with Deborah Koenker
Authors: Deborah Koenker
Not available / Sold Out
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Richmond Cultural Centre
7700 Minoru Gate
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