Love Love: this boat was not hit by an iceberg


julien berthier ship love love

Love Love is a freedom shout from a plastic artist, as something that exists away from museums-and-galleries imprisonment, at the sea where the horizon lies distant and seems to have no limits. But a freedom shout is also a calling for attention: it can come from a stubborn child or from a rebel with cause -- well, the reader decides. The guy is Julien Berthier and the object is a ship on an imminent wreck.

The 35-years-old French artist created a completely functional ship that seems to be sinking. With 6,5 meters length, the little ship was cut in the middle and equipped with a keel and a motor on its inner part, keeping it at the same position while it's functioning. Stable and easily conductible on calm waters, but with few hydrodynamic qualities, it's the "permanent and mobile image of a wrecked ship that has become a functional and safe leisure object", describes Berthier.

The ship was found in 2007, in Normandy, where it was moored and useless. With its imminent destruction, quickly the proprietary at that time, Odile Moulin, offered it, allowing the French artist to provide a new life to this stuff. After the work that took place right there, Love Love was ready to perform a vision of a dramatic moment.

julien berthier ship love love

The first exhibition of this object (ship or mobile installation?) was at its birth place. In Granville, Normandy, the ship quickly called up the attention at the marine and many were the offers for rescue before the good Samaritans perceived the trick. Berthier calls it the ambiguity between functionality and collapse.

After that, Love Love crossed the English Channel to arrive to London and stay in front of Lehmann Brothers' building, only two days after the bankrupt. Then, the ship became for passersby and press media a symbol of the installed crisis. On a parallel with reality, even with the imminent shipwreck, it remained completely functional, as if nothing had happened. The ship was a mirror not only for a collapsed world, but also for a must-go-on world, despite its own fall.

The third long journey of Berthier's work was to Lindau, Germany. And despite policy, bombers and mariners was advised it was an installation, alert calls were incessant and 20 people for saving the boat was sent to that place.

julien berthier ship love love

julien berthier ship love love

Today, Love Love keeps on doing little journeys and receiving assistance offers from the places it crosses.

Working at hyperrealist installations, Berthier wants to incorporate his objects (and the situations they provide) at socioeconomic reality, in order to answer to a prominent need, whether they are efficient or not. Because there must have a time when objects get faced with audience out of museums, galleries and controlled ambiances. Although the upcoming chaos, non-sense, entertainment, well, everything... And it's also because of it all.


More works at Julien Berthier's website.


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