Adventure has started early on in the life of Bas Jan Ader (1945- missing in 1975). He grew up in the town of Drieborg, not far from the sea in northeast Groningen. Because of his unruly behaviour, he ends up in a foster family and at boarding school. He often plays truant and sneakily joins the shrimp fishers at the Wadden Sea. He keeps longing for the sea and feels an itch to look for the horizon. He goes to art school in Amsterdam, but never graduates. At the age of 19, he hitchhikes to Morocco to sign on as a crewmember on board a sailing yacht heading for Los Angeles. It turns out to be an ordeal, with terrible storms, or no wind at all for weeks. In the US the first successes soon follow: Jackie Kennedy buys one of his drawings. (‘America brings unexpected success for Basjan (19) from Groningen’ headlines Het Vrije Volk. Back in the Netherlands in the sixties, he starts to work with film. It is an era in which artists start to attach importance to the idea behind a piece of art, the concept. Cheekily provoking the utterly serious world of art, these conceptual artists lift their concepts into the realm of art. Bas Jan films himself. In Fall 2 (1970) he rides his bicycle purposefully into an Amsterdam canal. In Broken Fall (organic) from 1971, he hangs from a high-up tree branch and drops into a ditch. Or he lets himself fall from a rooftop, while sitting in a chair (Fall 1, 1970). In Broken Fall (geometric), also from 1971, he tries to stand as obliquely as possible, only to fall over eventually. Bas Jan turns his life into art. His most ambitious project was his last. On a sunny afternoon in 1975 he boards a tiny sailing yacht on the east coast of the United States, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean. ‘In search of the miraculous’, as he said – which he expected would take place beyond the horizon. If he had succeeded in his journey, he would have ended up in the Guinness Book of Records. Never before had anyone tried crossing the Atlantic Ocean in such a small yacht. But in April the next year, his tiny boat was found, unmanned, by Spanish fishermen a little southwest of Ireland.