Deep Down Above the Sea

Motionless Voyage: not being, not staing and other coincidences of being lost or adrift.

1st Station.
Thomas More published, in 1516, a book written in Latin: Utopia –
A little, true book, not less beneficial than enjoyable, about how things should be in a state and about the new island Utopia.
Readers are divided: some probe the author's desire to see this “non-place” (u-topos) as a desire for change, which could materialize in the New World. Others feel their resignation at the impossibility of ever being able to live as described in that exemplary society.
It is important that Utopia is an island. That it is surrounded by water and protected by space and time, with uncertain cartography. But it is also important that whoever accompanies us on the trip to a place that does not exist is a traveler named Raphael Hythlodaeus, whose surname – in Greek – roughly means “expert in the absurd”.

2nd Station.
The Odyssey sings about Ulysses' tragic journey between Troy and the island of Ithaca: the drift of a tormented sailor. When he meets the Cyclops Polyphemus, the giant asks him his name and
Ulysses answers “Utis”, which in Greek means “Nobody”.
In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea: A Voyage to the Undersea World, published in 1870, Jules Verne tells us about Captain Nemo's tragic journey: the drift of a tormented sailor. In Latin, “Nemo” means “Nobody”.

3rd Station.
Ouedineniia 77º 29' N | 82º 30' E. Bjørnøya 74º 26 N | 19º 03' E. Ostrov Rudolfa 81º 46' N | 58º 56' E. Saint Kilda 57º 49' N | 8º 35' W. Ilha da Trindade 20º 30' S | 29º 20' W. Bouvetøya 54º 25' S | 3º 21' E. Southern Thule 59º 27' S | 27º 18' W. Île Saint-Paul 38º 43' S | 77º 31' E. Île de la Possession 46º 24' S | 51º 45' E. Nouvelle-Amsterdam 37º 50' S | 77º 33' E. Tromelin 15º 53' S | 54º 31' E. Howland Island 0º 48' N | 176º 37' W. Macquarie Island 54º 38' S | 158º 52' E. Fangataufa 22º 15' S | 138º 45' W. Araido-tō 50º 51' N | 155º 33' E. Bokak 14º 38' N | 169º 0' E. Isle Penantipode 49º 41' S | 178º 46' E. Campbell Island 52º 32' S | 169º 9' E. Pitcairn 25º 3' S | 130º 6' W. Hawadax 51º 57' N | 179º 38' E. Île Clipperton 10º 18' N | 109º 13' W. Pagan 18º 7' N | 145º 46' E. Isla del Coco 5º 32' N | 87º 4' W. Deception Island 62º 57' S | 60º 38' W. Franklin Island 76º 5' S | 168º 19' E. Peter I Øy 68º 53' S | 90º 34' W
SCHALANSKY, Judith, Atlas des Îles Abandonnées, Paris, Flammarion, 2010.

4th Station.
Livingstone sent forty-four letters, only one of which reached Zanzibar. In this one, he said goodbye to Horace Waller with the words "I have doubts if I will live to see you again".
In 1869, Stanley was sent on an expedition to look for him: he found him near the shores of Lake Tanganyika – in Ujiji – in November 1871.
The following dialogue never took place, but we still want to believe in it:
– Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
– Yes. I'm happy to be here to welcome you.
Livingstone was missing for six years in an attempt to cross the African continent between Cape Town and Cairo.

5th Station.
Try as I might, I don't remember his name. This shames me: that he has no name now. Utis, Nemo, Nobody. He woke up and woke me up in the middle of the night to say “I don't think I'm going to see the sea again”. He was a Navy sergeant and while the nurse reviewed tubes, needles, pressures, drops and doses; he spoke of waves, currents, storms, miles and knots, interrupting terms and words I still don't know as he went under.

6th Station.
Fernand Braudel enlisted in the French army and was arrested by the Germans at the start of World War II. Between 1940 and 1942 he was detained in Mainz and then in Lübeck until 1945.
Over the past three years he has written The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World, deprived of books but supported by the immense library that he carried in his memory. For contemporary historians, this remains a reference work to understand space and time as agents of change. The “long duration” as he called it.
Braudel had the body arrested 1318 km (as the crow flies) from the Mediterranean. But he saw the Sea clearly: the islands and the boats that connect them, the transhumance and the olive trees, the nomadic deserts and the sedentary mountains, the ruined cities and the fish, the tectonic plates and the coronations, the migrations and the drownings.

Valter Ventura
for the exhibition "Deep Down Above the Sea"
Duarte Amaral Netto, João Paulo Serafim, Francisco Mendes Moreira and Paulo Arraiano
Lisbon, 2019