In the exhibition Sex & The Sea, Saskia Boddeke created an experience for visitors. Visitors are encouraged to feel the same emotions of homesickness and sexual desire as seamen are faced with when they are at sea for months on end and staying in unfamiliar ports. Far away from their homes, other norms and values can sometimes hold sway. Will the passing sailor allow himself to be tempted in these exotic locations? Does he have a different girl in every port? Does the lonely sailor write home every day? Or may a young hothead see the shape of a mermaid when a manatee appears? Boddeke has translated this into an artistic film project comprising images of maritime erotic artworks, pin-ups, mermaids, postcards, photographs and unique quotes from seamen about lust. This film project is complemented by additional objects such as a real mermaid, tattoos and sperm whale teeth, with erotic maritime shows, voluptuous ships' decorations and model ships with poetic names such as The Mermaid. The installation creates an immersive experience.

Sex & the Sea:  

15 June 2018 – 20 January 2019
Maritime Museum of Finland, Kotka, Finland

8 March 2019 – 19 january 2020
Estonian Maritime Museum, Tallinn, Estonia


Concept, design & direction film
Saskia Boddeke

Concept & Design Suitcases
Peter Greenaway

Annette Mosk

Dionys Breukers
Borut Krzisnik

Performance ‘The port of Amsterdam’
Maartje Teussink

Video Editing
Elmer Leupen

Danny Weijermans


Second life animation
Iono Allen
Rose Borchovski

Picture research
Willemien Ruys

'De Havensteden' (fragment) by J.J. Slauerhoff
© Translation: 2013, Paul Vincent

Special thanks to:
Digital Playground, Rotterdam
ArtEZ, Enschede

This production was first realized on the initiative of Maritiem Museum Rotterdam