The Whale Theory - Claudia Losi - Johan & Levi - Libro Johan & Levi Editore
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The Whale Theory

An Animal Imagery

The whale is an animal that appears only to those who wait: a colossal, glistening creature that, like Moby Dick, hides from sight, “avoiding both hunters and philosophers.” Sudden, fateful encounters with the whale can occur at sea, or in craggy Apennine ravines, or in a museum, or while gazing at stars. Over the centuries, the whale has been both a mythological monster and an inspiration for tales, both a foodstuff and an object of worship. In short, an image that obsessively swallows things into its belly. Whales first fascinated artist Claudia Losi in 2004, setting in motion efforts that were focused, through various forms and initiatives, on a life-size travelling whale made of grey wool fabric. This living event, Balena Project, toured different parts of the world, attracting stories, absorbing suggestions, constantly changing its appearance.
The Whale Theory, the final leg of the journey, is its literary manifestation. An artist’s book, it contains strange and secret marvels, also serving as a compass for the lengthy poetic experience, which it retraces with illustrations, photographs and texts. Inside are various expert contributions and perspectives, plus a chorus of voices that harmoniously blend in the whale’s song.
Having taken her deep dive, Claudia Losi allows herself to be gracefully swallowed up, returning with a marine geography of words and visions that have nourished the archetype of the whale, both in her private imagery and in the mind of the general public. The result is a hymn to the mystery of this massive inhabitant of the depths, and to the stories of whales that have accompanied our history as human beings.

Texts by: Christopher Collins, Matteo Meschiari, Vinicio Capossela, Jean Rezzonico, Jean D’Yvoire, Gianni Pavan, Silvia Bottani, Tore Teglbjaerg, Mauro Sargiani, Petra Aprile, Sunaura Taylor, Gioia Laura Iannilli, Jurg Slabbert, Kate Pocklington, Philip Hoare.

Translated by William Lee.


Indice testuale

Christopher Collins, Ways of Seeing

Fossil Time
Matteo Meschiari, I Have No Idea What to Say About Whales - Vinicio Capossela, A Fare-Thee-Well Celebration - Jean Rezzonico, Goliath - Jean D’Yvoire, Lascaux the Whale

Gianni Pavan, The World of Sound of Marine Mammals

Silvia Bottani, The Whale Constellation - Tore Teglbjaerg, Moby Dick on a Lorry

Mauro Sargiani / Petra Aprile, The Youthirsty? Or the Ultraform

Animality / Imaginary
Sunaura Taylor, I Am an Animal

Gioia Laura Iannilli, Letter Jackets: The Space of the Familiar - Claudia Losi / Antonio Marras, Corps exquis - Jurg Slabbert, Stuck in the Belly of a Whale - Kate Pocklington, Days of Defleshing

Philip Hoare, I Saw My First Whale in London

The Whale Theory

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