R E Q U I E M F O R C O R A L S
“Requiem for corals” is a trilogy of life, death and survival instincts in the life of corals. Visualising coral sensitivity to the impacts of climate change, as it is revealed on a macroscopic level.
A secret world of movement and life, imperceptible to the human eye, becomes visible in the first installation of the trilogy “Breathing coral”: A water installation that invites you to discover recognisable human expression in nature’s abstract beauty.
A small fountain in the middle of a dark exhibition room is performing a pulsing rhythm of water flashes. The movements of water end and turn silent, suddenly transformed into a surface of transparency. From beneath, an ethereal formation of abstract beauty appears; colours and formation gradually coming alive…. Macro-movements from a coral creature enlarged and detailed are pulsing like the rhythm of a heart beat. Is it breathing ?
The project is based on macro-observations and macro-shootings of corals and inspired by scientific climate research about coral life and existence – and how the ocean’s coral reefs are affected by global warming. The project is created in collaboration with Israeli coral scientist and underwater cinematographer Tom Schlesinger.
Excerpts of the footage. (6,5 min.)
RESEARCH AND CORAL CASTING
Most people are familiar with corals from being huge colourful colonies of stony reef formations experienced from a distant diving perspective. Through my research, I have been looking at the life of corals through the macroscopic camera lens. By using the macro-optic, I have discovered a hidden world of life and movements, that the human eye cannot see.
By observing each species for hours in real time and getting into their slow rhythm of life, I discovered the reef in a way that goes beyond being a spectacular landscape of shapes and colours, but as a community of fascinating personas with unique individual behaviours. Each of them moving in its very own way with personal expressions, tempers – even moods.
When casting the corals, I’ve been searching for species whose movements mirror human behaviours, so that we can recognise ourselves in them through the way they act and move. I found the corals performing familiar archetypes through a set of universal human movements and activities. The casting revolves around a selection of species performing these different human movements and reacting to changes in their environment in the most visible and expressive way.