Adrift is a specially constructed workshop, or small boat shed, built in a public park in Cologne, beside the Rhine.
The construction style of the shed makes it obvious that the materials have been scavenged. Inside there are drawings, illustrations, 3d computer renderings, maps, materials, notes and ‘work in progress’ photos of the construction process. The focus of all this activity is on the design of a specific boat-type vessel.
The vessel is designed to hold one person only, in a lying down position. It therefore locates the individual between the sea and the sky.
The purpose of the vessel is open for interpretation as it suggests various functions; for example, some kind of flotation tank, or a survival capsule, or a futuristic sarcophagus or a specific way to contemplate Nature. By locating the individual in relation to Nature, and in particular the suggestion of the individual isolated within the wide expanse of the sea, there are also associations to the idea of the sublime in Nature.
The installation also features information about the Rhine, and in particular the route between Cologne and the North Sea, as well as weather charts and newspaper clippings about climate change, information on geological and glacier features (based on the source of the Rhine in Switzerland) along with personal photos, objects and ornaments.
There is a general sense that someone has occupied this space recently and planned and built the vessel. The actual vessel is not present. Therefore it may be assumed that the occupant has departed, and the most obvious conclusion is that the person has departed down the Rhine in the vessel.
The information in the shed is enough to build up a possible narrative, but also leaves enough space for ambiguity and imagination.
This installation was part of an outdoor exhibition titled Art Geo – Drive to Reconnect the Cultural and the Natural in Schlosspark, Cologne, Germany. Curated by Liz Ogilvie.