Raft of the Medusa
Materials: Reclaimed wood, lacquered glass, water bottles, papier-mâché, resin, ladder, 8 steel tanks, 2 wooden crates, 3 oars, rope, various objects. Performance with used cloths, rope, life buoys and various objects.
Dimensions: 287 x 246 x 380 cm
Exhibition history: 2017 Humber Street Gallery, Hull, UK; 2013 Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK
Courtesy: Lucy + Jorge Orta (Photographs: Jonty Wilde)
The Raft of the Medusa takes its historical reference point from the romantic depiction of the shipwreck Le Radeau de la Méduse by Théodore Géricault (1818-1819, Musée du Louvre, Paris). The make-shift raft constructed by the crew of the Medusa from wood salvaged from their sinking vessel recounts more than the treacherous voyage of the doomed sailors on board, it reminds us of the fateful journeys of slaves and migrants throughout history. Even more so today, we all play witness to the perilous journeys of the thousands of refugees navigating the oceans in search of a safe haven. A raft, the symbol of man’s fragility, helplessness and hope.