© Mariana Lopes
UNITY / UNIDADE
Inspired by the relationship of cachalot whale units, Unity / Unidade is a poetic exploration of the magical world of whale families and their matriarchal societies. Cachalots provide a unique case study of the natural world for social structures based on collective ethics and values, as well as cooperation since they have a multi-level cooperative social structure. In these familiar units, female and juvenile whales live in social groups that are stable over the years.
The artists reimagine and incorporate their research into a work which references a new kind of society from which humans can learn from. This society could be set in the present, the future or the past. It’s timeless.
The purpose of this project is to showcase the incredible capacity for communication, empathy and intelligence of the whales. And at the same time, raising awareness of the importance of protecting this ancient species, whilst questioning the way we humans organise our world and which values we stand upon.
The work is presented as a mesmerising immersive installation consisting of projections and surround sound, that represents the intimate world and relationship of these whale families.
Unity / Unidade is the work resulting from a residency at Vaga, spaço de arte e conhecimento in Sao Miguel de Azores, during December 2021. The installation was premiered and specifically designed as an immersive space for the Arquipelago’ Contemporary Art Center's BlackBox, as part of Walk&Talk Festival, 2022.
Concept: Estela Oliva and Ana Quiroga
World building and installation design: Estela Oliva
Sound design and music: Ana Quiroga
Lighting: Estela Oliva