«Vandenberg» Project by Andreas Franke
[24.27 N, 81.44 W. These coordinates mark the spot of the final resting place of an old brave soldier, the USS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. In 2009 it underwent a complete change when the creaky steel monster became a mystical bearer of secrets.
In May of that year, the Vandenberg was lowered down into the darkness of the ocean off the coast of Florida to become an artificial reef, where it would dwell in rigor mortis at a depth of 130 feet. It did not take long before life took back its dominion on the bulky 10.000 tons. A life draped in proud, majestic silence, which endowed its opposing emptiness with rich content.
This lively, animate, secretive nothingness, this menacing, wild emptiness would haunt and seduce the renowned Austrian photographer and passionate diver Andreas Franke.
This Viennese artist, famous for his amazingly detailed and meticulously construed stagings of international brands, saw the possibility for a unique platform in the sleeping giant at the bottom of the sea. He took studio photographs representing scenes from everyday life and superimposed them on the absurd, peerless, submarine background formed by the ship and its ambiance.
A boxing match takes place at the bottom of the sea, a girl in a fairy tale like white dress holding a butterfly net is running on the ghostly deck. Andreas Franke used a montage of underwater photographs from the sunken Vandenberg together with studio photographs representing scenes from everyday life, thus creating a new, sunken, forgotten world. A no man's land hovering somewhere between the past and the present. A world covered with diffuse, hazy marine veils, a gloomy world which is as confusing as it is fascinating]. – The Sinking World