Michael John Whelan
Video/Film
Photography
Objects/Actions
Paper/Sound
Text/Bio
Contact
News
The Good Soil
Frontier
Divergence of Character
Means of Knowing
Now the shadows I measure
From the Mountain
An echo and a shadow
Mercer
Baribal
The sun shone on the
nothing new

Reprieve
A Perfect Circle
Caisson
Assembly
Kindred
Clearing
Since
The Memoirs of a Madman
The Collector of Skies
And penance is the play
Cathedral
An echo and a shadow
2013
single channel HD video, colour, silent
12:00 min
(1/3) Next




Nine individual segments record a captive bred polar bear in the Berlin Zoo. Whelan recorded each segment at 320 frames per second on a high-speed camera, significantly slowing down the already minimal movements of the largest living species of terrestrial predator to a series of reductive gestures. The visual deceleration achieved through the slow motion brings the viewer into an abnormal temporal relationship with the animal, creating both a tension and a moment of shared experience. When exhibited the sections are looped seamlessly to give the impression that they continue in an infinite cycle.