Allan Sekula

Allan Sekula: The Dockers’ Museum, Object No. 42, 2010
Pelé signed football
Courtesy M HKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp), Antwerp

The Dockers’ Museum, Object No. 42, 2010

In his work, Sekula mapped the sea as the ‘forgotten space of the modern age’. For this he used a combination of text and image, which can be seen for example in his magnum opus, ‘Fish Story’. In the course of his research, Sekula realized that he needed to expand the method to include three-dimensional objects. Objects cross oceans and inhabit ships. They contain stories that only they can tell in their material presence. Sekula’s last project, the Dockers’ Museum, is on the one hand an artist’s museum. Like Claes Oldenburg and Marcel Broodthaers before him, he chose the museum as an artistic form. On the other hand, the Dockers’ Museum is a polemic against the museum ideology of the investors who gave us the Guggenheim Bilbao and similar boxes devoid of content and program. As a glimpse of Sekula’s unfinished museum, the exhibition features a ball signed by Brazilian football legend Pélé in an Afro-Brazilian style. Pélé played for FC Santos, from Brazil’s most important port city.