tamara dees


project, works on paper, installation

exhibitions: Sculptuur.nl ,Korenbeurs Schiedam Re:Rotterdam 2013 Galerie van den Berge, Goes 2013 Spaceburo Antwerp (B) 2014


The original foto as found on the internet, in the background part of the replica of the mast (photo ©Kurt De Wit)

In march 2011 a boat with 72 people left Libia with Lampedusa as destination. After a while they ran out of petrol and sent out calls for help. Soon the batteries were empty as well and they had to wait for help. Ships passed in the distance, airplanes from Nato flew over the boat and noticed it. But nobody actually helped them. After 15 days the boat washed ashore, back in Libia. Only nine people survived this.

The size of the article in the newspaper in relation to the disaster that happened intrigued me. Is it because it happens all the time? The amount of boatpeople trying to reach Europe is huge. A lot of boats capsize and people get drowned. But there can be a feeling of guild, of being ashamed because the guards of our safe part of the world do not help everyone.

I wanted to make a work about this issue, about ignoring, about the diffence in size of news in relation to witness the disaster. I used an older photo from the seventies because the subject of this work is not this particular disaster but the way the media deal with it. The photo of Vietnamese boatpeople is an iconic picture everyone recognizes. I printed it several times an used it to do tests with different pencils to see what covers the shape of the boat with the people the best. I started to analyse the picture to find out what the boat's size is, how it is made etc. These outcomes I use in installations as in Spaceburo (Antwerp).

Six Migrants on paper at Re:Rotterdam 2013