FA+ = Ingrid Falk & Gustavo Aguerre at


Sjöhistoriska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

April - September 2003


FA 51 for


Curated by Maria Fridh



Schengen Tours Expanded - The Great Wave

As a new director of the Maritime Museum of Stockholm, Maria Fridh created a new room -The Project Room- for contemporary art exhibitions. Her first show there was Projekt Framtiden -Project Future- and include some of the most relevant names in actual Swedish art. From FA+ she wanted to have Schengen Tours because, as she said, is an IMPORTANT WORK (angelegen in swedish). She insisted, and since we didn't show it in Stockholm before, we agreed, but expanded again and re-shaped.

The room present for us two difficulties/new possibilities: 1- Because the old architecture, with very small doors, was unthinkable to have the belonging container with the video projection into the room. Our solution was to "dock" it tight to one of the windows. In that way one had to leave the museum room trough the window to enter the container being outside but inside at the same time. Well into the container was easy to imagine what could it be to travel lock in there. 2- Because the large amount of windows the room lacks of wide walls. We had to build our owns and that gave us a lot of new possibilities.

We place tree walls in the form of an irregular triangle being the longest wall a curve or a parabola. The first wall was happy orange, the second brownish leather and the back side wall was in dark Van Dyke brown.


>Click on the objects to see them<

1st Wall

The public entering the room was confront right in away with the happy orange color wall of Schengen Tours, a wall full of promises.

As you can see we expanded the orange wall quite a lot to give space to some new elements: The poster of Ingrid as a pin-up girl among the fancy T-shirts to attract the young male travelers, the map of the Schengen countries (drawn with 4 colors oil crayons on the wall) to give orientation and "knowledge" feeling and the "puzzled" picture of a boat crossing over from Tangier to Gibraltar, the way to a new "life", if you make it.

2nd Wall

>Click on the objects to see them<

On the second wall the orange became's brownish. It is dedicated to those who got into Europe and live a life as "illegal aliens", in this case walking the streets of Rome selling all kind of objects, flowers, copies of records or taking polaroid pictures. Everything very hard regulated by the local mafioso. The top of the wall it is crowned with a line of matches that, as they life, is burned by design. A large photo shows the containers arriving silently to a port and on top of it a path of smoked cigarettes as the endless and meaningless waiting time for a decent life to get started.

Written on the wall is the text the Swedish Immigration Agency - in Arabic - with the requirements to be accept as a immigrant in a Schengen Country

Turning around the edge you see the 3rd wall and the window open to enter the container
3rd Wall

In the background the dark brown wall as a expanded copy of Hokusai's painting The Great Wave drawn by Ingrid with oil crayons.

On top of it the list of dead of those who didn't succeed while trying to get into Fortress Europe: 3490 people documented dead. And pictures of the machinery that it's waiting all the others who try to cross the Schengen borders: Speed boats, night flying helicopters, mine fields and a militarized border with a wall very much alike the one that Israel is building now to isolate Palestine

you can download the complete list here (pdf file, 128,0 kb)




>Click to zoom<


The Container

Trough the window you could enter the container. In there you could try to imagine how it could feel to travel, let say from China to Ireland on the top of a cargo ship together with some other 30 adults and children that successively die from the lack of oxygen until yourself die.

Or you can look at the video.





In the video, with a night vision camera, one follows (for real) a group of young men from different Non Schengen countries in their attempt to cross in the dark the border from Turkey to Greece.

They paid 10.000 U$S each to two Turkish smugglers to guide them to the border and take them over the river to Schengen European soil and to a "safe" village where other smugglers will take them further to Germany where they hope to find jobs.


Some of them are trying it for a second or third time. In the other side of the river the cost-guard it's patrolling constantly with silent speed boats, armed with night vision binoculars, fences, mine fields and trained dogs..

They never made it to the village. The smugglers escape.

Well, at least they survived the journey.




Reed this work's background here

or go back to WORKS