Michael Baers, Invisibility Chronicles, Part One, as installed at after the butcher, Berlin, 2020. Courtesy the artist
Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) The Ghost Ship and the Sea Change 2021

Invisibility Chronicles: Part One 

Newspaper, Euro-pallet, works on paper 
Dimensions variable 
Courtesy the artist and after the butcher, Berlin   

Presentation with support from ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)

Invisibility Chronicles,Part Onenarrates the true story of theFSO Safer, a Yemeni oil tanker currently stranded in the Red Sea with a cargo of 1.1 million barrels of crude oil. Calling it“a ghost ship, a hostage ship, a bomb ship or ship-bomb,” Baers shows how the vessel is part of a complex set of mechanisms dictated by geopolitical interests. The story of the ship connects colonial pasts with contemporary geopolitical brinkmanship and a threat of environmental catastrophe reaching far into the future. In the work, the specific story becomes a vehicle for asking broader questions about historiography and public visibility:Why do some conflicts and situations become well-known in Western civil society while others remain obscure,andwhat consequences arise when certain stories fall out of the media’s hegemonic narration of the world? 


Michael Baers (b. 1968, USA) has exhibited his artwork internationally in many institutions and has also contributed essays and comics to a variety of publication projects. Since 2010, much of his work has focused on the relationship between the MENA region and the West, resulting in a lengthy graphic work, An Oral History of Picasso in Palestine, and ongoing research. He received his PhD from the Academy of Fine Art Vienna in 2014 and since 2020 is an affiliated researcher at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). Baers is based in Berlin. 


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