Title of ArtworkBallads
Year of Origin2012
    verschiedene Materialien und Gegenstände
Collaboration/Shared Production/Research
    The Submarine Wharf is a unique partnership between the Port of Rotterdam and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. For five consecutive summers a leading contemporary artist is invited to create a special installation in the Submarine Wharf. The building, constructed in 1937, is similar in size to the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London.
Medium/Type of Artwork
Light Source
Light-Optical Factors
History of a work

You enter the immense space of the Submarine Wharf via a small door. You can wander through the installation on foot or explore the installation on one of the bicycles covered in white down feathers. The bicycles are arranged under a 16-meter lampshade in which a spotlight rises and falls to the rhythm of the artist’s breathing. The space is filled with the sound of a carillon with 43 bells, suspended from an architectural construction of 18 enormous tree trunks. The carillon plays the work ‘Litany for the Whale’ by avant-garde composer John Cage (1912-1992). The composition, based on the call of two whales, suggests allusions to the history of the wharf, which was once used for building submarines. The connection between the past and present is a recurring them in Sarkis’ work.

The Futuro, a futuristic holiday home from the museum’s collection, has landed in the wharf, providing the setting for Sarkis’ extraordinary films, which explore subtle changes in form and colour. At the end of the exhibition, just before the exit, Sarkis asks you to give something in return for a wonderful experience. (6. 5. 2020)

Special features artworkn/a