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By Rachel Simmons
Orlando, Florida: Rachel Simmons, 2022. Edition of 10.


6” tall x 6.5” wide x 1” deep closed; 5.75” tall x 16.5” wide x 14” open. Tunnel book construction. Digital printing and letterpress on paper and board. Hard cover with magnetic wrapper box. Includes information page with colophon slipped behind picture on front pastedown. Signed and numbered by the artist.


Rachel Simmons: "This tunnel book is named after the MV Lyubov Orlova, a former Russian icebreaker—now a ghost ship—that took me safely to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2008 and again in 2009. I created the scene by making a collage of elements from multiple photographs taken at various times and locations. Like a colorized postcard, this abstraction of a real experience depicts passengers from the Orlova on a zodiac tour of an iceberg bay. In the foreground, one of my cabin mates, a Tasmanian prison guard on holiday, is taking photographs of the landscape. Towards the back of the scene, the Orlova waits patiently for her passengers to return for food, warmth and comfort. The hyper-saturated colors intentionally flatten the space even as the tunnel structure seeks to deepen it, reframing the polar landscape as a theatrical stage and transforming my personal experience as an eco-tourist into a brightly packaged commodity."


Colophon: “Named after a glamorous Russian movie star, the MV Lyubov Orlova was a 259 foot long ice-strengthened ship built in 1976 to ferry passengers along the eastern coastline of the Soviet Union. Later in the1990’s, she did a stint as a freight ship, transporting cars from Japan. Eventually she was renovated in 1999 to be used as an Antarctic cruise ship.


“I made the Orlova’s acquaintance in 2008 … one hundred passengers … a Romanian computer programmer based in Toronto, a Swiss banker traveling around the globe, a group of Australian backpackers, two sisters from the Midwest, a rowdy Tasmanian prison guard, and a young Ukrainian who jumped into the icy bay in a polka dot bikini for a brisk swim.”


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