On view at the Fondazione Prada’s Venetian venue, Ca’ Corner della Regina, from May 13 to November 26 is “The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.” The exhibition is the result of an ongoing conversation between the writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge, the artist Thomas Demand, the stage and costume designer Anna Viebrock, and the curator Udo Kittelmann. The three-floor show includes film, photography, and installations from private and public collections, as well as theater stages designed by Viebrock. Offering a critical look at today’s political and social environment, the exhibition aims to identify the worlds in which we live and our personal attitudes toward them.
Kittelmann quotes a famous line in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar— “Why, now blow wind, swell billow, and swim bark! The storm is up, and all is on the hazard”—and underlines how the show was generated out of a “shared awareness, both on an emotional and theoretical level, or the critical aspects of present times and the complexity of the world we live in.”
The light shone on all three German artists plays a critical part— each artist’s endeavors have extended beyond imagination and aesthetic, and were conceived with political and historic intentions. Here, the trio reveal themselves to be witnesses and chroniclers of the past and present. The meaning of today and yesterday is highlighted, too, with a close look at society’s dividing lines between a lust for life and a loss of trust, and extreme distress and never-ending hope.
“It is a particularly lucky coincidence that Alexander Kluge’s filmic production, Thomas Demand’s photographic work, and Anna Viebrock’s stage settings are brought together in this collective exhibition concept, melding what are usually distinct artistic forms of expression. Until now, their different creative fields have prevented them from engaging in this kind of symbiotic collaboration, even though they know one another personally and have often exchanged ideas,” added Kittelmann.