life vests and blankets

Two performances/interventions that took place in London and New York in 2015 employ life vests and blankets in order to refer to refugees. They do not use the actual things travelling together with the migrants, as presented in other posts of this blog, but objects that serve the same purpose.

What do these performances do; what kinds of value -artistic/economic/moral/use/socio-cultural and more- emerge from them; who are they performed by and under which cirucmstances? What is ther relation to humanism? By watching the videos and reading the texts one is confronted with some of these issues.

Life vests: Georgia Lale walks in the streets of New York, in the Metropolitan museum, or at the Cannes festival.

Video by G. Lale:

Text by Georgia Lale:

“‘#OrangeVest‘ is a commentary on the journey of the Syrian refugees. This art project about the refugees’ trip between Turkey and Greece while they try to cross the Aegean Sea. It is a participatory performance, a sculpture and a protest. My purpose is to bring this tough reality inside the everyday routine of New York City.”



Blankets: Ai Wei Wei and Anish Kapoor, walking “in solidarity” with refugees.

Video by Tate:

Text by the Guardian:

“Artists Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor walk in ‘sympathy, empathy and solidarity’ with the hundreds of thousands of refugees ‘walking across the world’ on Thursday, urging governments to do more to deal with the crisis. Setting off from the Royal Academy of Arts on the seven-mile route through London, past Downing Street, to Stratford, near the 2012 Olympic Park, both hold blankets to represent the plight of refugees fleeing violence.”

Text by the independent:

“The two artists will each carry a single blanket as a symbol of the needs that faces 60 million refugees across the world.”


update, 09/02/16:




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