Whales, Art and Science: C-E-T-A-C-E-A

On June 12, the annual opening of an art show at the Whale Museum was held. French Marina Rees is the artist exhibiting her works for the next 12 months.

The artworks of her exhibition C-E-T-A-C-E-A show how science and art are not two worlds apart and “explore whale bones and skeletons through various media including film, installation and drawings”. Marina’s experience at the Natural History Museum in London surely played a key role for the development and creation of C-E-T-A-C-E-A, as she had the chance to do a lot of scientific research in one of the most stimulating environments one could ever dream. Marina now lives in Húsavík and is a co-founder of Fjúk Arts Centre.

Few days ago, on July 1, Marina invited townsfolk and visitors to Fjúk for a talk related to her C-E-T-A-C-E-A. Here is an extract from her talk:

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) have been used as inspiration within the arts since man could make marks. Contemporary artists are approaching the topic of cetaceans in different ways, including the representation of whales as alien entities or as an allegory for man’s supremacy over the natural world.
The approach used for the exhibition C-E-T-A-C-E-A included scientific research. Learning about the anatomy of cetaceans, how to dissect their bodies, preserve their skeleton, assemble them, the structure of bones, their formation and deformities all informed the work produced for the exhibition. In this way the exhibition is aiming to bridge the world of art and science, and expose their common grounds: a curiosity of the unknown, and experimenting to better understand our environment.