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Minor Canon

Bas Jan Ader Farewell to Faraway Friends tee

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Bastiaan Johan Christiaan "Bas Jan" Ader (1942 – disappeared 1975) was a Dutch conceptual and performance artist, and photographer. His work was in many instances presented as photographs and film of his performances.

As Jörg Heiser has written, "Bas Jan Ader's entire, if small, body of work invests the Conceptual with what appears to be its antithesis: romanticism....The colour photograph Farewell to Faraway Friends (1971) is the most direct reference in Ader's oeuvre to historical Romanticism. We see the lone artist at the edge of the sea, silhouetted by a beautiful sunset, alluding both to Caspar David Friedrich's scenes and to the kitschy picture postcard tradition that developed after them. It is as if Ader is mourning this history of devaluation itself, as if the faraway friends were the early Romantic artists who once, with fresh eyes, discovered Sublime nature as a mirror of their soul, and whose discovery is now obsolete. In the early 19th century, when the idea of the Picturesque in landscape painting became immensely popular, Europe was in the midst of the Napoleonic wars. From the outset the gaze of the Romantic beholder was contaminated with the viewpoint of the commander looking at the battlefield. (It has been argued many times that one of the reasons why Conceptual art developed in the mid-1960s was a disgust with the beautiful commodifications of art in the face of the Vietnam war.) Farewell to Faraway Friends suggests that the seeming incompatibility of the Conceptual and the romantic goes back to the historical roots of artistic production in Modernity at large."

Ader was lost at sea in 1975, attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean from the American coast to England sailing in a thirteen-foot sailboat, as part of a performance titled In Search of the Miraculous. His deserted vessel was found off the coast of Ireland on 18 April 1976, offering few clues as to his fate. The tragic irony of his final disappearance is that it is the perfect example of the romantic trope of the beloved's death, preferably by drowning.

Further reading:

• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (Heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz/yd² (142 g/m²)
• Pre-shrunk fabric
• Side-seamed construction
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
• Blank product sourced from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, or the US


Size guide

XS (inches) 27 16 ½ 31-34
S (inches) 28 18 34-37
M (inches) 29 20 38-41
L (inches) 30 22 42-45
XL (inches) 31 24 46-49
2XL (inches) 32 26 50-53
3XL (inches) 33 28 54-57


XS (cm) 68.6 42 78.7-86.4
S (cm) 71.1 45.7 86.4-94
M (cm) 73.7 50.8 96.5-104.1
L (cm) 76.2 55.9 106.7-114.3
XL (cm) 78.7 61 116.8-124.5
2XL (cm) 81.3 66 127-134.6
3XL (cm) 83.8 71.1 137.2-144.8