Single channel video installation

Zhùr is a video installation on the intersection of time, temperature and extinction.

The last two decades, the Arctic Permafrost has lost one meter of ground each year. When the permafrost melts, frozen bodies emerge. Animals from the Pleistocene Epoch buried in ice for millennia appear remarkably well preserved from decay, and they look as if time hasn't passed, maintaining fur, skin and internal organs intact. The Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre hosts a 6-week-old wolf puppy named Zhùr who died 57,000 years ago, a wolf ancestor long ago extinct.

This work is about the encounter with Zhùr and the multiple time intersections it produces. Its prehistoric body is present evidence of an absence, a time long gone. It is studied as a specimen from the past, but it also represents a potential future. It remains "frozen-in-time", and its aliveness aspect permeates the present to resume today, coetaneous to us, the ones alive. It holds several layers of time: the prehistoric era when it was alive, the span of time between its death and its discovery, the instant of it discovery, it's suspended cryopreserved non-decayed body, and the time yet-to-come: a confrontation with (our) extinction.



Director | Maya Watanabe
Camera and editing | Maya Watanabe
Sound | Yann Coppier

Special thanks:
Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Milo Diaz Morales, Tegenboschvanvreden (NL) and 80mts Livia Benavides gallery (PE).

The video was supported by Mondriaan Fonds.