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Artists-in-Residence Are the New Cargo

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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We’ve seen artist-in-residency programs at Facebook, Time Equities, Microsoft, Amtrak and others, but here’s one we never expected—an artist-in-residence program aboard a cargo ship!

 

Maayan Strauss, an Israeli photographer, is launching an artist-in-residency program that will invite 12 artists to live and work on commercial container ships. The residency program, known as Container, is intended to challenge the traditional idea of studio residencies, inviting artists to work within a unique intersection of industry, culture and technology. Hosting artists in the ships’ available cabins, Container will be a backstage pass that provides a firsthand encounter with the maritime shipping industry. Artists will travel the world in relation to the various shipping routes and nexus of destinations of global trade.

 

Strauss has been a Container artist herself, having traveled on her own container vessel journey in 2011. A student at Yale at the time, she was on a summer trip to Israel and found herself without the means to fly home, joking with a friend that she should just take a freight ship. Commercial container ships rarely take passengers, so it was difficult for Strauss to find a ship that would agree to allow her to live and work as an independent photographer while traveling the high seas. In the end, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services agreed. Strauss used the opportunity to create a series of photographs she calls Freight, which captured ship life in its rawest form, some of which can be seen below.

 

 

 

(Images courtesy of MaayanStrauss.com.)

 

Container is currently forming partnerships with leading freight-liners to facilitate the artist-in-residency program. A call for applicants will be announced soon at ContainerArtistResidency.org.

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