Investigating news creation through expanded acts of visual reportage

Swallow the gap

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Jade Montserrat responds to Shonagh Manson’s brief “It’s easy to despise the super yachts lining the grand canal as objects and symbols of privilege and inequality, but what more can the stories of the people who live and work on them tell us about the circulation of power?”

– oh cool
– yeah
– so how long do you kind of erm live on here for? Like. Do you live on here all the time or like
– live on here for a year
– oh wow ok
– wow
– wow that’s cool
– how long are you gonna be on here for?
– probably by the end of the summer i’ll be able to leave for two months tops
– ok
– travelling
– wow
– whats your job like what do you do?
– I’m a second engineer
– second engineer
– yeah so running working on the boat
– does it need a lot of like
– its a living it’s a living beast you know
– (laughter)
– I can’t quite imagine
– it’s just like so shiny and new I just imagine
– yeah
– that it’s all working perfectly I guess
– we just got a new paint job
– oh wow ok
– they just re-painted it down in France
– ahhh
– so from top to tail
– whoooo
– so that’s why she’s looking so good
– so how often does it kinda move on like how often do you move to different places
– that depends
– do they give you your schedule? or do they keep that from yer?
– no its kept from us
– really?
– yeahh i thought it might would be
– oh! for security
– yeah
– so is that for security basically and stuff like that? I guess erm
– ok so they just see what they’d like to do
– what’s the dress code to get on board? just a (inaudible) and shoes is it?
– laughter
– yeah ha ha
– shirt and tails
– bugger
– ahh that’s funny!
– is this the biggest vessel you’ve been on, you’ve worked on?
– oh no
– by no means
– really wow
– she’s half the size of my last one
– oh wow ok gosh
– she’s fifty metres
– and do the people who own it do they live on here all the time or no, it’s different people?
– its different people
– bit of a toy is it?
– bit of a toy for them is it?
– (pause) suppose so
– yeah I guess
– like would this not just be rented to different people all the time?
– no this is privately owned
– oh this is owned. riiight
– oh wow
– yeah
– that’s pretty impressive
– are they here for the Biennale then?
– pardon?
– are they here for the Biennale?
– thats correct
– yeah
– they come every year
– erm
– did you come to the Biennale?
– oh it’s really good there’s some really good stuff
– I haven’t had time off haven’t
– oh really wow
– had time for two minutes
– have you had a look thro..have you been into the town at all yet, into Venice?
– no
– really?
– yes
– (inaudible)
– oh wow really so you don’t get much time off when you’re actually on the boat then?
– (inaudible)…we get three hours during the day off but err (inaudible)
– that’s mad so erm do you work seven days a week then?
– whenever we have a guest on
– ok
– (inaudible)
– oh wow I don’t think i could cope with that
– yeah
– (inaudible)
– ok yeah
– so food is brought down to the boat and?
– and so you eat everything on the boat and erm and do you have stuff like do you have a gym on the boat you can use? that kind of thing or?
– nope. there’s a gym for the guests but we have are own separate area
– ok i’m just thinking otherwise you don’t get to walk around at all or do anything
– where are you from?
– South Africa
– South Africa
– where do tend to go apart from Venice do you go to other other parts of the Mediterranean or
– yeah
– all over
– (inaudible) Monaco
– oh ok that’s nice
– (inaudible)
– and you’re not allowed to say who owns this I guess?
– I don’t know myself
– oh you don’t
– I’m employed by a company
– seriously wow so have you have you met the person who owns it not really
– there’s continual people coming on board. I have a suspicion of who (inaudible)
– wow that’s amazing that’s so fascinating I never realised that ok
– erm there’s a magazine apparently which is circulating with who’s erm on what yacht in the area so we can always find out that way
– laughter
– (inaudible) … speculation

Text from the artist

Jade Montserrat on twitter: @jademontserrat

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