wide winds, we set sail

Two-channel video, drawings, sculptures
From 2020 - 2023
Commissioned by IoDeposito.

The Galeb sailboat was owned by the famous Slovenian ballet duo Pina and Pie Mlakar. They sailed with it throughout their lives and then donated it to the Maritime Museum “Sergej Mašera” in Piran. The museum initiated the restoration of the boat, which took place between 2020 and 2022 in the Cantiere Alto Adriatico Custom workshop. There, sailboats are dismantled to the basic frame of the still usable elements, keeping as many original parts as possible - because these original parts represent a bygone era that must be preserved. The work of these master craftsmen is dedicated to preserving the past on a symbolic level, but the nature of their work also treats time differently. The restoration of a sailing ship takes about a year, and each step is carefully executed.

Observing the renovation of the sailboat that embodies the Mlakars' commitment to sailing and a life dedicated to art, invisible structures and arrangements of objects in the shipyard, the unseaworthy parts of the sailboat, the dust, are brought to the forefront and interpreted as witnesses of the process of change.

The starting point for the works in the exhibition is the observation of the temporal component of the paradox of Theseus' ship, which points out that a ship that has all its parts replaced may no longer be the same ship. Drawings, sculptures and videos interrogate the fragile links between two ships: the one that was and the one that is becoming. One solution to the paradox is that the two ships are not the same, but both occupy the same space and time and therefore continue into each other. The works seek the fragile relationships, structures, tensions, voids and rhythms that emerge between the visible and invisible participants of this process.

In a series of sculptures that support and direct the gaze towards the unseaworthy parts of the boat, a choreography of objects, waste, dust, is pursued. They are understood as active and key players, in fact as the substance into which the spirit of the boat is poured during the two phases of renovation. The video follows the temporal and material observation of the indeterminacy and in-betweenness of a multi-year renovation process, the interaction and dance of the shipwrights and the wood. In this way, the works search for a ship that emerges in the in-between space and time.

 Installation views at the Maritime Museum “Sergej Mašera”, Portorose, 2023.  Photos: Antonella Fuentes

The exhibition was co-produced by IoDeposito and the Maritime Museum "Sergej Mašera" Piran.
The project was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia as part of the Peripheral Memories project.

Curated by Chiara Isadora Artico / Metal design by David Drolc / Technical support: Joshua Cesa, Eleonora Majeroni / Visual design: Lealudvik / Filmmakers: Neja Tomšič, Urša Rahne, Odilo Simonit / Editing: Neja Tomšič / Sound design and colour correction: Gašper Torkar

Acknowledgements: Alto Adriatico Custom (Paolo Skabar, Federico Lenardon, Franco Simonit, Jakob Skabar, Giorgio Masi, Ciril Rustja, Odilo Simonit), Tea Rogelj, SLOGI - Slovenian Theatre Institute, RTV Slovenia Archive, Neda Bric, Danica Dolinar, Lado Hribar.