MOBY DICK; or, The Whale

Apr 15–17

The Shed

In MOBY DICK; or, The Whale, award-winning filmmaker and visual artist Wu Tsang and her collective, Moved by the Motion, embark upon a feature-length, silent-film telling of Herman Melville’s great American novel. Presented in its North American premiere at The Shed, the film includes original music composed by Caroline Shaw and Andrew Yee with Asma Maroof, performed live by Musicians of the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Daniela Candillari.

This adaptation, written by Sophia Al Maria and directed by Tsang, follows the white whale above and below the surface of the water, developing a visual cosmology that resists the exploration and exploitation of the earth under imperial colonialism. The narrative is interwoven with extracts by the Sub-Sub-Librarian, a character played by Fred Moten, and tackles the novel’s subterranean currents, encountering the resistance of the ship’s hydrarchy, or organizational structure, and collectives of “mariners, renegades, and castaways,” as described by historian CLR James.

Concurrent with the presentation at The Shed, Moved by the Motion will contribute a video installation to the Whitney Biennial 2022 featuring extra-narrative and recontextualized material from MOBY DICK; or, The Whale.

MOBY DICK; or, The Whale is produced by the Schauspielhaus Zürich and co-commissioned by LUMA Foundation, Superblue, TBA21—Academy, HARTWIG ART FOUNDATION, The Shed, DE SINGEL, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Whitney Biennial 2022: Quiet as It's Kept is co-organized by David Breslin, DeMartini Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives, and Adrienne Edwards, Engell Speyer Family Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, with Mia Matthias, Curatorial Assistant; Gabriel Almeida Baroja, Curatorial Project Assistant; and Margaret Kross, former Senior Curatorial Assistant.

Runtime: 75 minutes

April 15
8 pm

April 16
2 pm, 8 pm

April 17
3 pm

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