Dit interdisciplinair langetermijnonderzoeksproject, gezamenlijk ontwikkeld door het M HKA en de KU Leuven, richt zich op een specifiek maar complex werk: één met veel facetten, dat variabel geïnstalleerd kan worden, onvoltooid is, en een open einde heeft: Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum (2010-2013) van de kunstenaar en theoreticus Allan Sekula (1951-2013). Het project, gevoed door het onderzoek van de teamleden, blijft evolueren via onderzoeksresultaten die opeenvolgend getoond worden, onder meer op dit digitaal platform.

Allan Sekula. Collective Sisyphus

Untitled (Changing Port Technologies & Labor, nr. 19), 1955
Fotografie , 20.5 x 25.3 cm
Ink, paper

1955 Chicago Longshoremen Gather for Work Wire [titel zoals aangegeven in PayPall document], zwart-wit foto, 20.5 x 25.3 cm. Aangekocht door Allan Sekula via eBay op 25 juli 2011.

[on the backside of the photograph, handwritten and pasted newspaper clipping]

SEP 13 1955

The day is coming in the not too distant future when Chicago will be the No. 1 inland port in America. Its shipping activity will rank with that of the great ocean ports of the world. All this, of course, when the St. Lawrence Seaway is completed, when the Calumet-Sag navigation channel is widened and deepened and when Lake Calumet port facilities are developed.

Then, the longshoremen - already an important force in the city's life - will become far more important still.

Here is how the longshoremen operate "on the waterfront" in Chicago. They are members of AFL International Brotherhood of Longshoremen, not to be confused with the independent International Longshoremen's Association for whom a strike was called Tuesday at Eastern and Gulf Coast seaports.

ABOVE - Longshoremen gather as early as 6:50 a.m. daily for the "shape up," in which 11-man pier gangs are selected to handle cargo at the North Pier terminal, under the Lake Shore dr. bridge.

Roy E. Fors (left on platform), a foreman for the North Pier Terminal Co., picks a men for the crew, as other officials of the company and a union steward (right) watch and check off the names