Artist: Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel
video | 87:00 | 2012

In The Order of Things, Michel Foucault looked forward to the day when the concept of “man would be erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea.” Leviathan offers one possible response as to what cinema might look like afterward, coincidentally turning to the same maritime locale from which Foucault drew his famous simile. Men, of course, still exist in the film: they work in the commercial fishing industry in the dark, cold waters off the coast of New England. But no longer does “man” function as the organizing principle of knowledge and of cinematographic language. Rather, the fishermen figure as but one part of an assemblage that includes both nature and technology, challenging an anthropocentric worldview with an immersive picturing of non-hierarchical relatedness. The disinterested stability of monocular perspective is jettisoned in favor of cameras that bob, soar, roll, swim and probe – not separate from the world they depict, but actors within. Produced in Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and shot on a dozen digital video cameras – including the tiny GoPro format – the film confronts ancient themes with the most contemporary of concerns.


The 10th Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory | 2014.11.23 - 2015.03.31 | Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum(Shanghai, China)