Divine Vessel

Heather & Ivan Morison


Book, 20.9 x 14.6 cm, 375 p, language: English, publisher: Birmingham: Article Press, ISBN: 1873352093.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/472).

Literary synopsis

Heather & Ivan Morison create a full length pulp-parody novel entitled Divine Vessel, a version of their own journey from Shanghai to Auckland aboard a cargo ship. Deliberately ludicrous, alternating between purple prose, factual data and knowingly silly humor, it’s a disjointed science-fiction yarn in which the Morisons are disguised as the characters Seth and Ruby, and encounter naked Filipino seamen, Captain Nemo and an extraterrestrial rabbit en route from China to New Zealand.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

''A copy of Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire constitutes the dominant material of Heather & Ivan Morison's work of the same name (2003). Wild flowers collected from Mongolia just out from the pages that have been used to press and preserve them within the pages of the battered and somewhat dated-looking book. Also in 2003 Heather & Ivan Morison wrote Divine Vessel, a 72,000-word science fiction novel, on a journey aboard a cargo ship. This novel is the outcome of the performative self-imposed isolation of a one month sea voyage from China to New Zealand. Asimov's book was one that they had read in preparation for the task while photographing wild flowers in Mongolia. This whole period was encompassed by their pan-global voyage Global Survey. Like Russian matryoshka dolls, one work reveals another.''

- Dan Smith, Art Monthly, March 2007

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