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Beached whale art installation lands in Madrid 'A riddle from the deep' - hyper-real beached whale turns heads in Madrid
(35 minutes later)
Call me Ishmael. Or, better still, Spanish whale.Call me Ishmael. Or, better still, Spanish whale.
Madrid awoke on Friday morning to find that a 15-metre sperm whale had somehow managed to swim up the Manzanares River before coming to an abrupt halt by the arches of the city’s oldest bridge. Madrid awoke on Friday morning to find that a 15-metre sperm whale had managed to swim up the Manzanares River before coming to an abrupt halt by the arches of the city’s oldest bridge.
The intrepid mammal turned out to be the hyper-real model – previously sighted as far afield as London, Paris and Antwerp – that a Belgian art collective is using to shock people into thinking about the environment.The intrepid mammal turned out to be the hyper-real model – previously sighted as far afield as London, Paris and Antwerp – that a Belgian art collective is using to shock people into thinking about the environment.
The installation, by the Segovia bridge, comes complete with a team of actors dressed as rescuers, who hose down the beached creature. The installation, by the Segovia Bridge, comes complete with a team of actors dressed as rescuers, who hose down the beached creature.
Madrid’s city council said the whale, which will remain stranded until Sunday, was intended to act as a catalyst. “It’s meant to get people thinking, through art, about the kind of city they want to live in and what sort of part they can play in looking after the environment,” it said in a statement.Madrid’s city council said the whale, which will remain stranded until Sunday, was intended to act as a catalyst. “It’s meant to get people thinking, through art, about the kind of city they want to live in and what sort of part they can play in looking after the environment,” it said in a statement.
Captain Boomer, the collective behind the work, said it was aiming for something a little more primordial: “A dumb question from the sea to man. A riddle from the deep … The beached whale is a gigantic metaphor for the disruption of our ecological system. People feel their bond with nature is disturbed. The game between fiction and reality reinforces this feeling of disturbance.”Captain Boomer, the collective behind the work, said it was aiming for something a little more primordial: “A dumb question from the sea to man. A riddle from the deep … The beached whale is a gigantic metaphor for the disruption of our ecological system. People feel their bond with nature is disturbed. The game between fiction and reality reinforces this feeling of disturbance.”
Madrileños appeared to be taking the cetacean incursion as a badge of honour. One tongue-in-cheek Twitter user took its arrival as further proof of the capital’s excellent water. “A sperm whale has come to die in the Manzanares,” they wrote. “WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?” Madrileños appeared to be taking the cetacean incursion as a badge of honour. One tongue-in-cheek Twitter user regarded its arrival as further proof of the capital’s excellent water. “A sperm whale has come to die in the Manzanares,” they wrote. “WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?”
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