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I Went Looking for a Ship is a navigation through the landscape of shipping, following the major renovation of the sea lock in IJmuiden, the most important access to the port of Amsterdam.
Natascha Libbert documents the life inside the technical zone on and around the locks, the port of Amsterdam and the ships. She focused on themes such as destruction and construction, the increasing public invisibility of maritime transport, and the way in which the landscape is constantly changing as a result of shipping. She decided to look for a ship to be able to observe everything from another perspective and to get a grip on this landscape in transformation. Eventually, she took passage on a ship that picks up quarried stone from a mountain in Norway.
In I Went Looking for a Ship, Libbert’s research and logs are the common thread, where the earthly images set the visual tone: sometimes technical, sometimes abstract and poetic. Through the use of archival footage, reference images and research, she not only highlights the history of the locks, but also tells about specific characteristics of the maritime space and the similarities between divers and astronauts.
I Went Looking for a Ship is a book about a personal quest into the maritime space and the invisibility of its landscape, in which the ships never stop sailing.