The Ship of Tolerance


with Emilia Kabakov

YEAR: 2005



Collection of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov


Siwa – Egypt, 2005
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Ship of Siwa. Installation and Performance, organization in collaboration with Albion Gallery, London, Oasis of Siwa, October 23 to 29, 2005.

Venice – Italy, 2007
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Ship of Tolerance, organization: Fondazione Querini Stampalia in collaboration with Seeds of Tolerance and the City of Venice, June 4, 2007 to August 1, on the occasion of “Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind: Art in Present Tense,” 52. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte, La Biennale di Venezia (52nd International Art Exhibition).

St. Moritz – Switzerland, 2010
St. Moritz Art Masters 2010, St. Moritz, “Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Wind of Tolerance,” Lake of St. Moritz, August 27 to September 5, 2010.

Sharjah – United Arab Emirates, 2011
Plot for a Biennial, Sharjah Biennial 10, Sharjah, “Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Boat of Tolerance,” organization in collaboration with Galerie Brigitte Schenk, Cologne, March 16 to May 16, 2011.

Miami (FL) – United States of America, 2011
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Ship of Tolerance, Miami, organization in collaboration with Wolfgang Roth & Partners Fine Art and Miami Children’s Museum, on the occasion of Art Basel Miami Beach 2011, November 30 to December 4, 2011; Miami Children’s Museum, December 5, 2011 to January 30, 2012.

Havana – Cuba, 2012
Prácticas artísticas e imaginarios sociales (Artistic Practices and Social Imaginaries), 11th Havana Art Biennial, “Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Ship of Tolerance,” May 11 to June 11, 2012.

New York (NY) – United States of America, 2013
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Ship of Tolerance, on the occasion of the 17th annual DUMBO Arts Festival, New York, various locations, September 27 to October 13, 2013.

Moscow – Russia, 2013
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Ship of Tolerance, Moscow, organization in collaboration with Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, City of Moscow, September 7 to September 22, 2013.

Zug – Switzerland, 2016
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Ship of Tolerance, Zug, organization: Kunsthaus Zug in collaboration with the City of Zug and Zuger Messe (Industrial Fair Zug), various locations, September 10 to October 30, 2016. The installation will remain until 2021 at the Brüggli area in Zug.

Rome – Italy, 2017
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Ship of Tolerance, organized by Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, The Holy See through the Vicariato di Roma and Pontificia Università Lateranense, Rome, May 25 to June 30, 2017. The installation is now located near Tarot Garden in Capalbio. Collection of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. The following venues are in planning: Oslo and London.

Capalbio, Italy, 2017
The twenty-foot-long wooden boat, whose sails were made up of paintings by children of different ages, cultures, ethnicities and geographic origin, on the theme of tolerance, hope and dialogue between cultures arrived in Capalbio in 2017.


General Description The project begins with an outreach to schoolchildren ages 6 to 15 through a specifically designed educational program to discuss the meaning of tolerance and the merits of other cultures, races, and ideas. The program is run by local art instructors in schools, refugee centers, and museums. At the end of the workshops, children create paintings reflecting the ideas of tolerance, sending a message to the world. One hundred and fifty drawings are selected for the ship’s sail and the rest are placed in prominent locations throughout the city.

Paintings created by the children are strung together to form a giant sail, which is hoisted atop the constructed ship. The ship is built on a special platform, allowing it to float and to be moved on water. The entire construction process takes 2–3 weeks, and during that time, hundreds of visitors each day come by to admire the construction, learn about the project, and be inspired by its message. They have an opportunity to view the ship’s construction and meet the young student carpenters from professional schools who will be involved in the construction of the ship.

Materials and brochures about the project are available for the visitors to understand the purpose of the project and learn ways in which they can be involved. Teen ambassadors work on site each day to answer questions from visitors and give guided tours of the ship during construction.

The ship’s launch is the project’s climax – as the sail raises it becomes a semaphore of hope and tolerance for the world beyond. The launching ceremony culminates in a large event with participating children, members of the community, and a general audience. After launch, the ship remains open for several months to a year for continuing visits and tolerance-related programming.

As part of the opening, there is a concert by talented young musicians from different countries and cultures. This is a crucial part of the experience with performances and improvisation sessions where kids from different countries can play together and share their talents.

A special web platform will be created to follow up the progress of the project and to connect previous locations of the ship (Moscow, New York, Havana, Sharjah, etc.). This platform will also be a communication tool for the kids to connect with their peers in different countries.



2005Megan BartonComment