The Golden Boat

AES+F's unique aesthetic is renowned for its hypnotic appeal, classical beauty, multi-layered narrative, and stark alienation. Created exclusively for Sedition, The Golden Boat is an excerpt from The Feast of Trimalchio (2009), the second part of The Liminal Space Trilogy concerning the modern world: hell, heaven, and purgatory. The work was inspired by Gaius Petronius Arbiter’s Satyricon, specifically the section - The Feast of Trimalchio.

In large part due to Petronius's fantasy, Trimalchio's name has become synonymous with wealth, luxury, gluttony and unbridled pleasure. The Golden Boat depicts a vision of heaven in the form of a super-luxury hotel. The present-day Trimalchio has created the most exotic and luxurious hotel possible. The hotel guests, the ‘masters’, are from the land of the Golden Billion. The ‘masters’ wear white, which calls to mind the uniform of the righteous in the Garden of Eden, as well as traditional colonial dress or a summer fashion collection. Trimalchio's ‘servants’ are young, attractive representatives of all continents, who work in the vast hospitality industry as housekeeping staff, waiters, chefs, gardeners, security guards and masseurs. The ‘servants’ resemble the brightly coloured angels of a Garden of Eden, to which the ‘masters’ are only temporarily admitted. Both masters and servants become participants in an orgiastic gala reception - a dinner in the style of Roman saturnalia, when slaves dressed as patricians recline at tables, and their masters dressed in slaves' tunics, serve them. Ultimately, the delights of The Golden Boat are spoiled by catastrophes, which encroach on the Global Paradise.

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