Michael John Whelan
Video/Film
Photography
Objects/Actions
Paper/Sound
Text/Bio
Contact
News
1991
And they did live by watchfires
Nocturne
Untitled
Darkness had no need
These last breaths
In the black dark for good
Carapace
That we were to wait
Like force and matter
Only in
Lupus
20 Vertices, 30 Edges
and 160 Diagonals

In Embers (Dodecahedron)
Dune
Transit of Venus
Over the echoing gateway
Stars/Star
Shadowplay
Archway (diptych)
These last breaths
2018
chromogenic prints, frames treated with Persian Gulf seawater
diptych 30 x 40cm ea.
(1/4) Next




In 1954 companies that would later become BP and Total commissioned a young Jacques Cousteau to undertake an oceanographic survey of the Persian Gulf. As Cousteau's career progressed, he became a vocal conservationist. However, as a factor in the discovery of oil, the survey of 1954 was instrumental in irreversible changes in both the region and the world. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Whelan travelled to a series of coordinates from Cousteau's survey. With a dive team he conducted his own visual surveys of the sea bed. During these dives, images were made of the air expelled from a diver's lungs, taken only seconds apart. After these ephemeral moments were captured on camera, a water sample was taken from the same location. The raw wood of the two frames was treated with this historically charged water, bleaching the wood and leaving traces of salt.