Beached whale appears in Paris, stunning tourists and residents

July 26, 2017 by  
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Imagine strolling along the Seine river in Paris, hand-in-hand with a partner when all of a sudden, you glimpse a beached whale stranded on the shore. Without a doubt, the scene would inspire distress. However, this is exactly the reaction the Captain Boomer Collective was on a mission to evoke. You see, the 17-meter (55-foot) “whale” isn’t actually a marine mammal; rather, it is an art installation which was installed overnight to raise awareness about humanity’s detrimental impact on the environment. The Belgian artist collective installed the whale along the Seine river overnight. It’s unnervingly realistic – and they event went so far as to simulate the smell of a dead sperm whale . In the morning they cordoned the whale off from the public while “forensic scientists” set about studying it. The team wrote on their website , “We place the statue on the beach during the night and prepare bleeding and smell. In the morning the carcass is fenced, to keep people at a distance. We create of circle of about seven meters around the statue. Within this perimeter, the beaching is a true fact. The actors within the fence never drop their cover. They are scientific and official figures of a fictitious organization, the North Sea Whale Association.” Understandably, members of the public believed it to be real upon first viewing it. One Paris resident told the press, “It makes me very sad because for an animal like this to leave the Atlantic to end up here means that there is a problem […] I think it might be our fault.” Related: 337 whales beached in largest stranding event ever – and no one knows why The Mirror reports that the project ultimately aims to raise awareness about humanity’s impact on the environment , including the fact that humans are adversely affecting wildlife with plastic pollution and are overfishing the oceans. Additionally, the team sought to raise awareness about the sperm whale, which is now classified as a vulnerable species due to the impact of commercial whaling. While it is unlikely a sperm whale would ever make it way up the Seine river, the installation isn’t too far off in its depiction – whales are regularly found beached in the North Sea, as IFLScience points out. In fact, Rob Deaville, the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme project manager, says that during a regular year, it is not uncommon for at least two to five sperm whales to strand themselves in the UK alone. Hopefully, this project gives humanity the abrupt wake-up call it needs. + Captain Boomer Collective Via IFLScience , The Mirror Images via Stéphanie Basquin, Julien Kerduff

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Beached whale appears in Paris, stunning tourists and residents

Belgian Art Collective Brings a Giant Beached Whale Sculpture to the River Thames

July 4, 2013 by  
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At first glance, and even on closer inspection, it’s hard to tell that Belgian art collective Captain Boomer’s beached whale sculpture is actually art installation and not the real thing. The extremely realistic and life-sized sculpture “washed up” on the shores of the river Thames for the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival , just days ago. The shocking, life-like sculpture was accompanied by a team from the British Divers Marine Association who answered questions on what to do if you are to ever come across a real  beached whale . One day before the Docklands International Festival began, the giant whale was craned-in and placed along the shore of the Thames in Greenwich. The purposeful placing right on the water’s edge was staged to seem like a real whale beaching and included a team of actors who acted like scientists, surveying the site and performing investigations on the condition of the animal. The performance was meant to rouse the community, cause an interaction between the faux-whale and onlookers, and to instigate the feeling of wanting to help. The rouse, however, wasn’t immediately given away, and many spectators ended up believing that the sperm whale  was real. After the beaching performance, the whale sculpture was moved to a grassy knoll on the festival grounds, where it remained for the duration of the event. Captain Boomer has previously staged other beachings of the whale sculpture around Europe, in an attempt to not only educate people but also to give members of each community a link to nature. + Greenwich and Docklands International Festival  Via My Modern Met Images: Image © Stu Mayhew        

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Belgian Art Collective Brings a Giant Beached Whale Sculpture to the River Thames

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