A pin-up girl’s picture on a cabin wall speaks of longing during an excruciatingly slow ocean voyage. This exhibition, put together by international top-level artists Saskia Boddeke and Peter Greenaway, studies the loneliness, lust and eroticism amongst sailors

Since time immemorial, sailors have been crossing the oceans and staying for long periods away from home. Under such circumstances, many things can be controlled, but not human sexuality. Sex and the Sea illustrates sailors’ fantasies during long sea voyages and the reality that awaited in port. The exhibition describes life at home and at sea, deep emotions and physical needs. 

Dutch artist Saskia Boddeke and British film director Peter Greenaway have produced the art film that forms the core of the exhibition experience. In the film, sailors give an honest account of their experiences and freedom at sea – a lifestyle that landlubbers might find odd and despicable. The exhibition also questions the notion of solely masculine, heterosexual sailors. After all, do sailors only dream of women? 

Furthermore, the exhibition coaxes us to consider our own set of norms. Is it guided by peer pressure or the rules on what is legal and what is not? Far away from home, the norms might be different. Will the sailor give in to his needs in an unfamiliar harbor? Does the lonely sailor have a girl in every port?

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