Join us Thursday July 10th for the opening of Zwicker, an exhibition by New Draft Collective commissioned by the Maritime Foundation.
Shaped by the story of the schooner F/V Sherman Zwicker, the show links historical artifacts, archival photographs, and contemporary installations that speak to the history of the craft and its place in maritime culture.
A majority of the show occupies the interiors of the original fish hold below deck. Once used for the storing and salting of codfish, this cavernous timber framed space creates a dynamic dialogue between the past and the present life of the boat.
For example, one of the installations, “Codfish,” is a back-lit bay filled completely with salt, highlighting the vessels original function. Another bay features a projected series of archival photographs of past crewmen and fisherman and typical scenes from the cod fishing industry. Two bays, “Sextant” and “Ropes, Lines” speak to the obsolescence and perseverance of certain technologies. Before GPS replaced sextants, navigating by the sky was the sole means of navigation aboard Sherman Zwicker as she fished the Grand Banks. Alternatively, ropes, or more commonly called ‘lines’ in maritime culture, have eluded this obsolescence—they have been used on boats for thousands of years and continue to be an integral part of sailing. Bringing the exhibition to the present, like a portal to the outside “Hudson River” depicts a video of moving water—the Hudson itself, reminding viewers (and New Yorkers) that they are surrounded by water. Lastly, the bay entitled “Watch” speaks to the culture aboard a ship, both the regimentation of life aboard a boat determined by keeping watch and the slippage of time that occurs.
Outside the bays, the exhibition creates an atmospheric experience of the operational era of the Sherman Zwicker through the display of antique books, charts, and artifacts. Presented on the original ladder that used to provide sole access to the hold, the passage of time is evident in the deeply worn out steps. Also included are photographs from the archive of the Penobscot Marine Museum and informational text about the history of the boat and the cod fishing industry.
NEW DRAFT COLLECTIVE
New Draft Collective is a New York-based duo made up of Michi Jigarjian and Libby Pratt that operates as an artistic practice, facilitator, and publisher; and focuses particularly on issues of maritime history and culture.
Founded in 2011, New Draft Collective: Michi Jigarjian and Libby Pratt are recipients of a Swing Space 2013 artist residency at Building 110: LMCC’s Arts Center at Governors Island made possible by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Recent projects include the launch of Mold: Pedestal (Vol. 1) at Printed Matter, NYC through their imprint Secretary Press.