Installation: 7 Channel Audio, 2 Channel Video, 3D Print, Carpet, Photography, 2018

Film: HD, stereo, colour, 13’, 2020

Concept / Directing / Text: Adnan Softić
Video edit / Artistic supervision: Nina Softić
Voices: Sachiko Hara, Adnan Softić, Bettina Stucky, Ilhana Verem
Film archive: Marily Stroux
Sound: Nika Son
Sound Design: Daniel Dominguez Teruel
Assistance: Nursima Nas
Comissioned: Roger Buergel for ︎︎︎ “Mobile Welten” 

The “Bibby Challenge” – a cross between a cruise ship and container ship – is a kind of improvised home on the water that German authorities in Hamburg set up to accommodate refugees from the Yugoslav Civil Wars.
The artist Adnan Softić lived on this ship, which was anchored in the middle of the city on the river Elbe. On the one hand Softić’s installation reconstructs the particular way of life on the ship in sounds and images, its gentle rocking reminding those who lived there of the provisional nature of their accommodation from the moment of their waking until they fell asleep again at night. And yet it also situates the “Bibby Challenge“ phenomenon in a general topology of ships and ship passages. Softić addresses the ship as both a place and a non-place at the same time – as a floating, highly mobile vessel that knows how to navigate the boundaries between national and international waters, if only because twothirds of the Earth’s surface is covered with water.
We hear voices and we see pictures. People remember and we become witnesses of their memories. And while we become witnesses, we remember ourselves. Maybe. Not all memories are divisible, but there are bridges. There is the ship, there is the sea. There is the container. There is the living space, rather limited, four people in nine square meters. Fates of war, fates of refugees. Perhaps the experience on board the "Bibby Challenge" was not much different than on Noah's Ark - both ships with a grotesquely bloated belly. The form follows the function: to accommodate as much life as possible. The "Bibby Challenge" does not actually sail; it floats. The ship is part of the city and yet a body beyond space and time.

Roger M. Buergel