Sailing Away With The Great Pirate Chief

For the past 5 years I've been investigating an unusual type of interactive, site-specific installation I call Territory Landscapes. The term Landscapes is important because the space itself is large and complete and has its own particular story expressed in a visual way. The term Territory is necessary because these Landscapes aren't located in the everyday world, but exist in another place just beyond what we normally see. Territory Landscapes are typically exhibited a number of times as the work progresses and often include theatrical components.

In early 2001 I'll be starting work on a new Territory Landscape called Sailing Away With The Great Pirate Chief. The main feature will be a large sailing ship. From bow to stern she'll be twenty five feet with a widest width of twelve or more. The mast will be about thirteen feet with a sail to match. It's not all that solid this sailing ship, with just enough wood and string and fabric to make it steady as she goes without enclosing the space of its sailing.

The basic story for the Landscape is this: the sailing ship of The Great Pirate Chief has docked in the harbour and is waiting for a crew. The Great Pirate Chief has yet to be seen, though it's widely known that he never appears, at least not on land. Maybe at sea he might take shape, but much can be known about what he's about by the things that are there in his cabin. Visitors to the initial showing will be asked if they'd like to make up his crew and sail away. Some will certainly do so. For the next few months they will meet each week to sail away through the Territory Seas. Their personal stories will help sail the ship and even change its appearance. During this theatrically oriented period, the public will be invited to visit and see what occurs out at sea. When the ship returns to the harbour dock, the Landscape will be opened again for a last public viewing. The ship will be empty as it was before but it won't look the same. And where is the crew, have they disappeared? Would anyone else like to sail away?

A mix of visual installation, theatre and personal involvement. Trouble is though it takes a big space and a whole lot of time is involved as well. You can't do this in a regular gallery so you rent a place and show on your own. 1200 square feet at a dollar per is a lot each month so I'd like some help with the rent. Then there's all that wood and fabric and string and other important material things. But $5,000 would be a great help to get it all started . Wouldn't you (or someone you know) like to sail away from the everyday world with The Great Pirate Chief?

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