We’re all familiar with underwater weddings (they seem more popular then ever: a polish couple just broke the record for “largest underwater wedding”), but an underwater art exhibit? And it’s on a shipwreck!?
Austrian photographer Andreas Franke is exhibiting a dozen images on the wreck of the Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, a former Air Force vessel intentionally sunk off the Florida Keys in 2009. Franke’s exhibition, “The Vandenberg–Life Below the Surface,” consists of twelve, shall we say enhanced, photographs of the wreck. As Franke recently explained:
Even though there is so much life, marine life, all over and around it, the shipwreck itself, to me, is a dead thing. But I thought that if I put people on it, then there would again be life on that ship . . . Anyone can interpret the images how they want, but I like to think of the shipwreck as a theater or a stage, with people acting on it.
The results are amazing, if unsettling–a fantastic exhibition by any measure! I’d love to see NOAA, NPS, and others install interpretative panels like these on the country’s most visited shipwrecks. Seems like a great way to engage recreational divers with the history of a wreck and demonstrate the value of preserving our maritime cultural heritage.