The Ship of Fools originated from various explorations of the concept of hell. A couple of years ago a few of my projects dealt with a construction of a hell environment, modeling it on the formal organization of Dante’s Inferno. I was interested in developing several layers within this environment, including the outer layer, the first circle in the Inferno—Limbo, with an attempt to relate them to my own world. In general the realm of Limbo, in Dante and other sources, is designated for people of good nature who do not deserve to go to hell, but, for various reasons, did not earn their place in heaven. I became interested in creating a space where people are in a constant state of discomfort due to their inability to adhere to a path, manipulated by their hopes, fears and weaknesses.
This project is referencing both an oil painting attributed to Hieronymus Bouch (c. 1490-1500), called The Ship of Fools, and Sebastian Brant’s book (c. 1492) with the same name. Both works describes a similar scenario of a group of “fools” who are stuck on a boat attempting to go somewhere, but are unable to. Brant’s manuscript is organized in short, one-page chapters introducing its characters, this manuscript informed the organization of this video where each fool aboard the Ship of Fools is introduced in a short video chapter.
David Margolin, David Wallace, Elizabeth Letcher, Leif Granberg, Lee Whitefield, Michael Goodier, Paulette Zamora, Paul Grayson, Penny Jennings, Signe Brewer, Randy Sexton, Yariv Kainan.