Michael John Whelan
Video Installation
Paper & Sound
The Reserve
Primary Organs
Exit Pupil
The Good Soil
From the Mountain
2k video, 1.37:1, colour & monochrome, sound
16:30 min
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Weary from centuries of war, death and destruction, Ocean (an imagined collective consciousness of all the oceans and seas of the world) takes on corporeal form and travels inland across the rubble strewn landscape of a former Nazi V2 rocket test site and forced labour concentration camp. This dream like journey passes through an area of live munitions still restricted to this day, towards and into a V2 factory building which now functions as a museum. Passing through the stairwells and corridors, it observes present-day life in the museum: an archivist works on the sea-eaten wreckage of a V2 rocket part; a custodian mops the floors and polishes the balustrades of the wartime building; two musicians rehearse for a concert - performing a song once banned by the Nazi regime; and tourists happily explore the vast halls. Incorporating archival footage and filmed on vintage lenses using a vintage aspect ratio, this meditative journey includes a voiceover in which Ocean contemplates a long and complex relationship with humanity. The minimal electronic soundscape is inspired by archival sounds and intercut with an underwater conversation made during an archaeological survey dive to locate and extract WW2 wreckage.

Funded by Stiftung Kunstfonds