In France, people got a big surprise when they stumbled upon a beached whale. The most shocking thing here wasn’t the sight of the dead animal, but rather, the place where it was found: 100 miles inland, along the banks of Paris’ river Seine.
How did it get there? There’s no scientific explanation for it. But there is an artistic one.
The sperm whale – despite looking realistic and lifelike – is actually just a sculpture made to shock and horrify passers-by. The scene is even made more realistic with actors dressed as scientists pretending to analyse and dissect the carcass, while giving out educational information.
The hyper-realistic installation was made by the Captain Boomer Collective, a Belgian activist art group whose goal is to raise awareness about marine life and our destruction of it. The whale sculpture has previously been to other unexpected places, such as the banks of the Thames in London.
“The psychological archetype of the dead big fish leaves no one untouched. It stirs and mobilizes a local community,” the collective explained.
“During our beachings, we see an intensive interaction among the crowd. People address each other, speculate and wonder. They offer help and ask for information. The different layers of perception create funny games. Some audience members know it is a work of art but feed the illusion to other people.
“The sperm whale appeals to everyone. It is the place where everyone gets together. That’s why it is vital it beaches on a public spot that is freely accessible.”
The installation is part of the Paris Summer Festival and will be on display until August 5, 2017.
Via My Modern Met