The King’s Boat Manzoni
Creation media and date
Color digital animated video, 2023
The King’s Boat Manzoni discusses the current pandemic. The name of the boat “Manzoni” comes from the Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni, who wrote History of the Column of Infamy about the image of the “oiler” in the bubonic plague.
The work places a pandemic situation in the current technological society in the context of the Fujian / Taiwan custom of sending the plague gods to the king’s boat for fantasy and reflection: a delivery man infected with the plague is worshipped as a plague god for his connection to the world isolated by the plague, and is sent to the king’s boat by the crowd for the king’s boat ceremony.
The ancient custom of the king’s boat reflects the collective subconscious of human beings in the face of plague and disaster (wanting heroes and gods to bless the world), while the form of releasing the king’s boat to the sea is similar to the pre-modern European custom of isolating and banishing the sick / insane to the far sea, which is the other side of the collective subconscious (isolating and banishing the harmful), and both sides will be reflected through the king’s boat in the work.
Based on the logic of the take-away clerk and the technological big data behind it, the author reshapes the look and representation of the ancient king’s boat ritual, trying to ask questions about the impact, restructuring, and shaping of the pandemic on the post-human condition in the present from the prophecy/allegory latent in pre-modern culture.