The starting point of Yellow Limbo is an extraordinary episode which has all but disappeared from official histories; namely, the failed passage of fourteen international cargo ships through the Suez Canal on 5 June 1967. Caught in the outbreak of the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt, Jordan and Syria, the ships were only able to leave the canal in 1975 when it re-opened. While stranded for eight years, the cold-war political allegiances of the multi-national crews were dissolved and gave way to a form of communal survival and the establishment of a social system. This involved the organisation of their own olympic games in 1968, amongst other activities.
Yellow Limbo interleaves vintage photographs and Super8 film shot by crewmembers with the artist’s own recent footage on location and is shown with a slide projection of particular relevance, general importance or personal interest from the eight years of the ships’ confinement. This three- way comparison of events, disembodied from the timeline of experience, creates a complication of concurrence, consequence and dissociation, giving rise to a sense that time is pleated, causality radiating and that this rippling expanse of saltwater somehow communicates diagonally through time.More