The trilogy continued in —6, with Geography Lesson: Canadian Notes, a reflection on Canada, its industrial economy, and its fraught relationship with its more powerful neighbour. Completed between and , the third instalment of this trilogy, the exhibition and book project Fish Story fig. The significance of the project was recognised soon after its appearance, yet it has been the focus of relatively little extended commentary since, despite being regularly described as a seminal work on the theme of globalisation. The whole ensemble was later exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, in , and then at Documenta 11 in , curated by Okwui Enwezor, where it appeared considerably less isolated than at the Whitney Biennial nine years earlier, taking its place among a large number of photographic and documentary film works. Staten Island Ferry. New York Harbor.
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Fotografiska Museet Stockholm , Moderna Museet Stockholm , Nederlands Fotomuseum , Tramway Glasgow With the exhibition Fish Story, American artist Allan Sekula reconstructed a realist model of photographic representation, while taking a critical stance towards traditional documentary photography.
Though there is a long artistic tradition of depicting harbors, ships and coastlines, few contemporary artists are continuing it. In Fish Story Sekula picked up this tradition, demonstrating the history and future of maritime space not only as a visual space but also as a socio-economic one.
Fish Story was his third project in a related cycle of works that deal with the imaginary and actual geography of the advanced capitalistic world. A key issue in Fish Story is the connection between containerized cargo movement and the growing internationalization of the world industrial economy, with its effects on the actual social space of ports. Since its conception, Sekula sought to build the project cumulatively, exhibiting and publishing Fish Story as a work in progress.
Fish Story also included two slide sequences of 80 projected slides each: Dismal Science and Walking on Water.
Overall, the sequences formed a circular movement. In doing this, a number of contemporary and historic routes were traced and questioned. The photographs and slide installations were combined with text panels, which commented on the project.
Allan Sekula — Fish Story