Bilgi University, Istanbul – Crossings: Round Voyage


Round Voyage

since October 2007 – long term loan

Santralistanbul, Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Through the Crossings interdisciplinary art project that reached out to countries, institutions and the migrant within each one of us, Kalliopi Lemos wished to bring the issue of migration to the public’s attention. Pressing home the sensitive issue of illegal migration by using the actual boats that carried the illegal migrants in their crossings from East to West, Lemos created an unparalleled trilogy of installations, which conveyed universal values of solidarity while investigating crossings from country to country, from life to death and the potential of these crossings as a source of regeneration.

The simple, wooden, Turkish boats used by migrants still bear a palpable historical, emotional and conceptual freight that makes the work an ode to human suffering. The artist herself has come to see the boats as truly sacred objects. By treating the public space occupied by the boats as a stage for the tragedy of the human condition and for the historical dimension of the migration issue, Lemos was able to initiate a dialogue between the works, their particular sites and their viewers.

For Round Voyage, two migrant boats were put together and were inverted one above the other, in a form that brings to mind the yin and yang symbol. A steel arch construction, a bridge, was made to hold the boats in place and it was painted in different colours, bringing to mind a rainbow, a symbol for hope and regeneration.