THE LEVIATHAN'S PLAYING
Cycle of artistic expeditions and multidisciplinary research with gray whales.
Since immemorial times the cetaceans have captivated the human imagination, but they have also been victims of their incomprehension and ambition. The Leviathan's Games is a reciprocal initiative. Faced with the impossible intelligibility, the game renounces to the understanding. The cycles reveal itself against the biblical warning that with the giant of the sea tenderness is not possible (Job, 41) and thus, builds a bond based on gestures, rhythms, and emotions.
El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve is one of the most extensive protected natural territories in the world. Located in the center of the peninsula of Baja California, it is sheltered by its difficult access and its distance from the cities and roads. In it, it is the "Laguna Ojo de Liebre" (too called Scammon's Lagoon), a lagoon that serves as a winter shelter for gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). For the whale, the Lagoon is a place of reproduction and birth. Coastal dunes prevent access to predators, as well as reduce underwater pollution. Its calm waters and high levels of salinity help the young to float in their first swim and to the young in their rituals of seduction and mating.
The studies on the language of the whales are meager. However, some scientists dedicated to the subject, such as Luke Rendell and Hal Whitehead, begin to affirm that culture is not the exclusive property of the human being (2001). This leads us to intuit that this unusual practice is part of a legacy; that the lagoon to whish they learn to return, the geography of their origin, constitutes an emotional heritage of collective memories, expressed in underwater elegies.
Fotografía: Fernando Martín Velazco y Paco Jiménez Franco