In It Won’t Be Long Now, Nicolas Garait-Leavenworth presents a three-part journey. The centre of the triptych (Chapter 2) recounts the crossing of the North Pacific in May 2014 aboard a container ship, from Hong Kong to Los Angeles. A journey stretched in time, symbolising the acceleration of our era but also the true face of a world the consequences of which are still unknown. Halfway between fiction and documentary, Garait-Leavenworth develops his journey into an installation assembling source material, clues, photographs and press cuttings that accompany videos combining images captured during his trip with feature film extracts. It Won’t Be Long Now (chap. 2) opens with a décor inspired by Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love and ends in Los Angeles with a series of photograms overlayed with quotes taken from Héctor Tobar’s The Barbarian Nurseries and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch.
The three chapters will be presented in September 2015 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Villeurbanne / Rhône-Alpes, as part of the Rendez-Vous exhibition / Focus Biennale de Lyon.
This project was selected and supported by the sponsorship committee of the Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques.
Chapter 1: Shanghai – Macau – Hong Kong.
Chapter 2: North Pacific Ocean.
Chapter 3: Los Angeles – Las Vegas – New York.
Or how to fold a world map along the international date line in order to identify its counterparts.
6th August 2013: death of Allan Sekula.
Or how the shift of power is taking place from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
13th April 2014: departure to Shanghai.
Eastern production, western consumption: or how 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea.
27th April 2014: departure from Hong Kong aboard the Ever Champion container ship – 340m long, 43m wide, weighing about 100 000 tonnes, maximum load of 6000 containers filled with unknown cargo, flying the flag of Germany, chartered by the Evergreen Marine Corporation (Taiwan), going at an average speed of 18 nautical knots (about 33km/h). Four officers (three Germans, one Polish man), eighteen crewmembers, all Filipinos; a passenger, described as “supernumerary”. An antiquated and fragile technology (some diesel and a propeller; standardized 20, 40 and 45 ft. containers).
14th May 2014: arrival in Los Angeles
Or how space is at stake, how it alters itself, how it shapes us.
29th May 2014: departure from New York
Or how to go from a mere décor to the hyper-reality of a transactional architecture – from the deliquescence and gradual dissolution of a former colony to that of a casino floor.
Or how about exploring the world of tomorrow and its invisible face; how to be really part of it.
The project takes its title from a poster glimpsed in an episode of The Leftovers.
Nicolas Garait-Leavenworth, November 2014