Michael John Whelan
Video/Film
Photography
Objects/Actions
Paper/Sound
Exhibition Views
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
Frontier
2016
two channel HD video, colour, sound
10:30 min
(1/3) Next




This work takes as a starting point the appearance of a white humpback whale off the coast of the Arctic archipelago Svalbard in 2012. A fractured narrative is constructed across two screens intertwining and juxtaposing both found and originally created footage. The found footage consists of dozens of digitally recorded albino appearances of animals from all over the world, distorted visually to the edge of abstraction. The originally filmed footage is of different parts of the coastline of Svalbard, facing the Arctic Ocean. Both visual positions appose the unseen and the recorded, the absent and the digitally present. Using this imagery in combination with subtitles and sound, Frontier explores albinism as a genetic phenomenon and an attraction often resulting in abuse and ritual persecution. The subtitles originate from three sources: testimonies from Tanzanian and Malawian albinos, scientific studies into the relationship between radiation from Chernobyl and the increase in albinism in birds, and the original dialogues in the background of the found footage from the internet.