A life-sized beached whale art installation by the Belgian collective Captain Boomer has appeared on the shore of London’s river Thames at Greenwich, shocking onlookers with its hyper-realistic quality. Made from fibreglass, the whale is a stunning 17 meters long and features a group of actors who appear to be conducting a scientific investigation. The piece is part of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival and aims to draw attention to the history of whaling, as well as the increasing number of whales and dolphins spotted around the UK coastline. An actual team from the British Divers Marine Association were present to answer any questions about what would happen if the whale was real.
Speaking about the installation, Captain Boomer said:
“The psychological archetype of the dead big fish leaves no one untouched. It stirs and mobilizes a local community. During our beachings, we see an intensive interaction among the crowd. People address each other, speculate and wonder. They offer help and ask for information. The different layers of perception create funny games. Some audience members know it is a work of art but feed the illusion to other people. The sperm whale appeals to everyone, regardless of social or cultural background. It is the place where everyone gets together. That’s why it is vital it beaches on a public spot that is freely accessible.”