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Gone Offshore

“Tomorrow I will be going to Nassau, the Bahamas. For the duration of my stay, I’ll be posting a blog every day. But this won’t be a conventional travel blog. For one thing, I’m not really on vacation, although you might think so, given that I’ll be in the sun-kissed Caribbean. The blog will in fact report on some of the work I’ll be doing whilst I’m on the island. It will also serve as a kind of insurance policy, a statement of intent, in case anything happens to me.

“Some time ago, I was contacted out of the blue by the Swedish artists goldin+senneby. They asked me if I wanted to participate in an exploration of how the secret world of offshore companies might somehow be linked to Acéphale (‘Headless’ in Greek), a secret society established in the 1930s but now presumed defunct (wiki). It seems that there is a company registered on the Bahamas called Headless, and my job is to investigate possible connections between Acéphale (the secret society) and Headless (the secret company)…”

– John Barlow
Travel Journal: Nassau, Bahamas, March 26th – April 4th 2008, by John Barlow

Gone Offshore: John Barlow in conversation with curator Övül Durmusoglu on May 29th 2008, for the exhibition Data Recovery, GAMeC, Bergamo (excerpt):

Gone Offshore: Walking tour led by Blue Badge Guides Rachel Kolsky & Caroline Dale, London, March 30th 2008:

John Barlow Gone Offshore (guided walk)

“Middlesex Street marks the shift from Tower Hamlets to the City of London. Sometimes called the ‘Wall of Fire’, the border between two economic realities will be host to Goldin+Senneby’s event. From this point, a guide will initiate a movement towards fictitious space, narrating the legal construction of offshore jurisdictions.

“As part of his collaboration with the two artists, Barlow travels to the Bahamas in search of the physical manifestations of Headless Ltd and, in a wider sense, the material staging of the fictitious place – or non-place – of the offshore incorporation.

“For John Barlow Gone Offshore, two city guides lead the public into Barlow’s travels across the Bahamas and his possible findings. Mediating and contextualising the performative research in the offshore, the event proposes a staged inquiry into the undisclosable.”

– Anna Colin for The Street, Canal, London & Disclosures, Gasworks, London

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