Costa Mediterranea

When visual artist, Annegien van Doorn stepped aboard the cruise ship Costa Mediterranea with her camera in 2015, she entered a parallel world. Before she was even allowed to take that step, she had to have her picture taken by some kind of scanner. It was as if the real ‘Annegien’ had to stay ashore, while only her avatar was allowed to board the liner. Once aboard, Annegien found herself in a world inspired by a seemingly random mix of eras and continents. According to the brochure, this ship’s interiors drew particular inspiration from historical Italian palaces.

On the ship, she couldn’t move without being observed by the cruise staff. The cruise was just 60% full, resulting in a 2:3 ratio of crew to passengers. The only place she could escape this scene was inside her 12m2, windowless cabin. Here, Annegien photographed scenes she created herself, additionally she photographed the bedspread folded into different shapes by the room attendant everyday, and combined them with pictures of the interior of the ship. Through these special combinations of scenes and situations – created by an interior architect, a room attendant and herself, an artist – she is subtly able to question reality. But not only the reality on a cruise. After all, is the daily reality we create around us not just as absurd as life aboard a cruise ship?