Balena Project


  • 2010
  • 24h performance
  • Photo: Daniela Morreale, Francesca Dainotto

The performance Les Funérailles de la Baleine tells of the collective ritual that accompanied the final phase of the Whale Project. The material phase of the project began in 2004 and ended in October 2010.

In October 2010, the Whale, this “symbolic device,” returned to the place where the fabric it is made of was produced, and during a 24-hour performance on the premises of the former textile factory, this rite of passage took place. A “funeral” of the whale’s body, which was transformed into a variety of new objects/shapes/thoughts: under the guidance of designer Antonio Marras, master seamsters used the fabric to create men’s jackets lined with pages of magazines that featured articles about the project. Other whale shapes were created from the stuffing of the mother whale, as well as bags made from the inflatable air sacs inside. As director of the funeral band, singer and composer Vinicio Capossela accompanied part of the performance with unreleased songs and readings.

Les Funérailles de la Baleine tells the story of that performance and rite of passage, which, with a sense of magic and symbolism, reflects the concept of the “ecology of art,” according to which the work is not seen as a fixed and static object, but rather as a point of passage, displacement, and change in terms of both materials and meaning.