‘Wet Feet and more’ presents two recent works by the Moroccan-French video artist Bouchra Khalili (born 1975 in Casablanca), in which she explores the geographic quality of two different port cities: Miami and Hamburg.
Both of them are places of passage – of people, goods, money. They are both characterized by the fact that immigrants and minority groups have developed their own strategies of resistance. The exhibition title ‘Wet Feet and more’ refers to the U.S.-American ‘Wet Feet / Dry Feet’ policy, which allowed those Cubans, who reached the borders of the U.S. to stay there, while forcing those who were caught off the coasts of the country to return to Cuba. The photo series ‘Wet Feet’ captures the traces of Cuban refugees, who have landed on the grounds of ‘Miami River Ports’. It depicts the images of worn-out containers or boats which show stigmata of illegal crossings, which are marked by times past. The ten-minute digital film, ‘The Seaman’ was shot by Bouchra Khalili last summer, during her time as a guest of the Artists-in-Berlin Program. Set against the background of the deserted noctural Hamburg harbor, a young Philipino sailor tells of his loneliness and isolation in the modern captivity of a container ship, the epitome of the global transport of goods.