In the present day, a story is unearthed of a whale body that became a world of dinner parties, clandestine sex and mayoral speeches. In a possible future, a group of those-who-were-left-behind (or, those-who-chose-to-stay) have made a home inside the body of a whale. They find themselves contemplating this new world and speculating on the state of things outside – a world ravaged by a climate crisis which they survived by turning to the ocean. At a crossing between the present day and this potential future, a lone figure sings a lament for the body of the world’s last whale.
Deep in The Eye and The Belly is an ongoing body of work entwining stories of cetacean bodies with imagined oceanic futures in which these bodies become shelter for humans who returned to the oceans in the wake of climate collapse. Through a series of five chapters that blend documentary, song, improvisation and theatrical monologues, the films meditate and ask questions on the entangled nature of human and non-human relations, the notion of community, bodily transformation and the possibilities of an oceanic future.
Exhibition history 2023 Ocean Films Húsavík, Húsavík, Iceland (film festival); Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum, Gothenburg, Sweden (group); Designhaus Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany (solo); San Mei Gallery, London, UK (solo).
Sam Williams is an artist with a multidisciplinary practice, working across moving-image, collage, choreography and text. Sam is based in London where he is a resident at Somerset House Studios. He has exhibited and screened work at institutions including Arnolfini, Chisenhale Gallery, Siobhan Davies Dance, Somerset House, Tate Britain, Studio Voltaire and South Kiosk (UK), She Will (Norway); Kino Arsenal, Akademie der Kunst, Tanzhalle Wisenberg and B3 Biennale (Germany). His ongoing research focuses on multispecies entanglements, ecological systems, bodies-as-worlds and folk mythologies and how they can inspire ideas for present and future ways of non-human-centric living.