The work is a durational piece with sound that depicts a journey into and out of a succession of Mediterranean ports. The arrival and departure is shown, but what happens on the ship, and idea of or any experience of the destination, are missing.
Ports, especially these ports, are very old. Until the 20th century advent of flight and automobiles, ports were always the principal way the littoral around the Mediterranean was reached. Yet for both citizen of the port towns, and the traveller, the port itself was a mysterious and not altogether salubrious place. The port was about prostitutes, vice dens, illicit trading, violence and the plethora of rootless strangers. From the ship, the port is the point of disembarkment and must be passed through, not lingered in.
Today the ports of Barcelona, Livorno and Napoli have been cleaned up, rationalised and made decent. Goods are loaded onto bland container vessels; Ferries busily fill and depart on a regular rota; efficient cranes and machinery replaces the masses of sweating humanity that used to keep the port going.
And yet, the port is still no less mysterious, no less odd. The port skyline is filled with strange machinery, odd buildings, sculptural forms whose use and purpose elude the uninitiated. Looking out at the port from the ship, it still feels like a negative zone: something to pass through; next to, but not of, the town.
We wait. Sunrise to sunset, we wait in port, wait to set sail.
for the video, and please watch it full screen.