Downriver is an artistic research voyage down the Danube, aboard 5.6m wooden boat, to gather information about the artistic and cultural life upon the river, which so far hasn’t been coherently documented or described.

Maruska, one of the very few female solo skippers on the Danube, travelled her 1st single handed boat journey downstream the river – 65 days & 968km from Linz (Austria)until Belgrade(Serbia). The remaining 1164km to the Danube Delta are waiting to be sailed next summer.

The journey is the goal.

Important are the stories, people she meets & the experiences.

Even this is an adventurous endeavour, Downriver is not an adventure per-Se, the aim of this journey is to explore and document artistic and cultural life upon the Danube and to collect stories of exceptional people who resides upon the river.

What lies downriver? Do the formal borders of countries also form a border between the river people or does the Danube form an “Other Space” as Michael Foucault calls it, somewhat independent on of the countries which surround it?

Does the Danube river hosts a lively cultural and artistic scene, directly upon the river and on its riverbanks and in its harbours? What artistic and cultural activities do these artists and collectives perform?

These were the questions with which Maruska set the sail. What answers the river brought?

Project Possible Due to Support of

Förderungsverein der Kunstuniversität Linz
Tim Boykett & Pippa Buchanan, who borrowed me their boat
Long list of people who supported this voyage in many material or immaterial forms
Those who supported Downriver Art Sale Crowdfunding Campaign

Maruska Polakova

Maruska lived aboard a ship on the Danube since the summer 2013. The experience of living and working as an artist at a ship put her in a close contact with the international community of water based artists and cultural workers. She dedicated her Master Thesis (Interface Cultures, Kunstuniversität, Linz )to „Art & Culture Upon Ships, Rivers and Seas“ and travelled around Europe to meet other water based artists and collectives.