Rachel Berwick

TWO FOLD SILENCE 
1995 - 1997

Dimensions Variable
Materials: refrigeration tubing, compressor, frost, steel, cast rubber Coelacanths, video projection, charting devices

Project Venues:                   
1996 Nordanstad Gallery, New York, NY
2002 CCAC Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts,
       Oakland, CA
 

The Coelacanth (pronounced seel-uh-kanth) is a living fossil; a term describing species that have been classified as extinct only to be re-discovered alive.  This species was once thought to be the missing link in the evolutionary chain leading to man.

Living at depths of approximately 1000 feet, the Coelacanth as a species has managed to survive for 400 million years.  Although its isolation at such depths has allowed it to survive it has also made it very fragile and, therefore, almost impossible to study.  Whenever a Coelacanth is captured it cannot withstand the change in pressure when pulled to the surface.
To capture it is to kill it.

Upon first entering the exhibition space the viewer walks alongside a 20’ long line of frost that ends below the suspended cast of a Coelacanth specimen. Further into the space, a vertical opening in a viewing wall reveals footage of a captured Coelacanth.  Superimposed over the image is a clock that is monitoring the slow death of the ailing fish.  Meanwhile charting devices that support steel tanks and limp rubber casts of Coelacanths document the movements of the viewers’ throughout the space. 

Two Fold Silence - installation
Two Fold Silence - detailTwo Fold Silence - detail
In order to view this video content, you need to Upgrade Flash Player.