LIVE LOAD, Mark Požlep, 2023
“Live Load” is performative research to question social, economic and environmental implications of containerization.
I was invited to the New performance Turku festival under the umbrella of Time for Live Art (TFLA), where the experience of a slow travel trip from my place of living to Finland should become the material for a new artistic production.
Since Antwerp, Belgium is an important European port and Turku also, my initial idea was to travel from Antwerp to Turku with a boat. As waterways are now mostly used for transportation of different goods, I decided to send myself from Antwerp to Turku in a cargo container - to put myself in the chain of transported goods.
Our approach with the production team towards major European shipping companies such as MSK, Maersk, CMA CGM and Finnlines was strictly commercial. We tried to convince them to legally take me on board and use my stay in the container as an advertisement that their transport is so good that they can ship even live cargo. Since the project is addressing to many topics related to health regulations, safety, insurance, human trafficking, drug trafficking… we did not succeed to get the permission.
The only option of sea travel was a ro-ro/passenger ship ( Ro-ro means roll on roll off, intended for transporting cargo on wheels). I boarded the Finnlady in Travenmunde in northern Germany. Finnlady sails from Travenmunde to Helsinki. The duration of the trip is 32 hours.
In order to follow the original concept, I decided to spend the same amount of time as I did on the travel from Belgium to Finland, 59 hours, in a shipping container on the land in Turku. 20 feet cargo container was positioned on the city square in the urban environment, next to the maritime museum. The container was accompanied only with the House of Bills, a manifest listing its contains and a STC (said to contain form) stating that the container contained living being. I entered the container on Sunday, September 3rd at 9 p.m. and left on September 6th at 8 a.m. Same as my trip from Belgium to Turku, the stay was 59 hours.
The container was further used as a scenographic element for the lecture.
“Live Load” lecture performance was produced by New Performance Turku and under The umbrella of Time for Live art project.